To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, which decisively and dramatically changed the course of the war in the Pacific, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is featuring a Midway Symposium Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, 9am to 5pm. The symposium is included with Museum admission, free to Museum members, and open to the public.
Additionally, on Saturday, June 2, the Museum will unveil its new 40-ft diorama of “The Battle of Midway” being built in Glenview, Illinois by designer Karl Lau of On Final Approach. The 10-ft. high, three-dimensional scene recreates the ocean battle between the Japanese and American fleets. Recorded interviews of Japanese and American soldiers who participated in the battle provide narration to the moving diorama, along with sounds of aircraft diving, bombs and gunfire.
Mr. Lau, 86, was a U.S. Navy pilot for the 94th Squadron in 1944~1946, and lost eight of his 10 crew members in the Battle of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of WWII. “I did this project because no one before had done justice to Midway. It was a turning point in the war. If this diorama doesn’t bring a tear to the eye, then we’ve lost the reason to build it,” Mr. Lau said.
Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff explains its importance as, “This exhibit is truly a piece of art built to inspire. It will be the cornerstone of our Hangar 79 Midway exhibit as we begin the fundraising campaign to restore this second battle scarred hangar.” Hangar 79 still has visible in its leaded blue windows, the bullet holes from the December 7, 1941 attack.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
- June 2, 3 –The Battle of Midway Commemoration
- Symposium, 9am ~ 5pm, Saturday and 9am ~ 4:30pm, Sunday.
Saturday speakers include Captain James Fanell, John Lundstrom, Burl Burlingame, Vice Admiral Yoji Koda, and Mike Jones. The Moderator will be Daniel Martinez.
- Saturday, 1pm is General Gary L. North, Commander, Pacific Air Forces; Air Component Commander for U.S. Pacific Command; and Executive Director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
- Sunday speakers include Stan Carpenter, Daniel Martinez, John DiVirgilio, Karl Lau, and a panel of speakers from Saturday’s event. The Moderator will be Daniel Martinez.
“Battle of Midway” – New Exhibit Opening & Cocktail Reception, Saturday, 5~7pm, Museum Hangar 79. The Museum’s new interactive diorama will be dedicated to exhibit sponsor and donor Fred L. Turner, former chairman & CEO of McDonald’s Corporation.
Museum & Exhibit Opening, reservations are required by May 21 and seating is limited. Reservations and information, call 808/441-1007 or email SpecialEvents@PacificAviationMuseum.org. Reservations are required to drive onto Ford Island or visitors may park at the Arizona Memorial parking area and use the Ford Island shuttle.
Purchase tickets online at PacificAviationMuseum.org, at the Museum, or Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. General admission: $20, adults; $10, children. Kama`aina and military admission: $12 adults; $7, children. Admission is free to Museum members and military in uniform.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.
The Museum provides educational programs for adults and children and is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard in Hangars 37 and 79 on Historic Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. Opened December 6, 2006, the Museum has been rated “one of the top ten aviation attractions” in the nation by TripAdvisor. There are more than 600.
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