Richard C. Adkerson & Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries retraces the grueling trail that led from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay by way of New Guinea and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, Burma, the islands of the Pacific, China, India, and Alaska. Exhibits explore the evolving strategy for fighting relentless Japanese forces in Asia and the Pacific, examining cultural differences, logistical challenges, and the staggering range of extreme conditions that confronted American military forces.
Conveyed through artifacts (including a shark-faced P-40 Warhawk), oral histories, serialized “Dog Tag” profiles, short films, and recreated environments, this is the story of a world that was unimaginably alien to American GIs, a conflict of searing brutality, and a victory so devastating it is hotly debated even today. But this is also the story of the American spirit that carried the day: the dogged hard work of Seabees literally paving the way for island-hopping aircraft, scientists in a race to create vaccines against devastating new diseases, and daring commanders facing ever-changing obstacles with equal parts innovation and courage. Exhibit treatments bring to life the naval and air forces, the soldiers and marines, as well as engineers creating the machinery to cross vast distances, carry massive cargo, and build cities at sea. This is the story of the Americans who forged a road to Tokyo through courage, ingenuity, and great sacrifice that ended the war at last.
Road to Tokyo's first gallery takes visitors into this moment in history, introducing the key leaders whose loyalties and ambitions define the moment.
On a replica bridge of the USS Enterprise, three large windows reveal fighter planes taking off over enemy waters.
Part of this gallery presents the quieter side of life aboard ship, while an “exterior” section takes visitors onto the flight deck.
Vividly rendered and viscerally impactful, the setting shifts from sea to land in this experiential gallery.
Inside a replica of a captured Japanese rice hut, exhibits describe the daily challenges of life on the islands.
In this serpentine gallery, a realistic beachscape recreates a landing site on the island of Tarawa.
A P-40 Warhawk is suspended in front of a massive video screen showing wartime supply routes and video of the Himalayas.
Fighting for control of the capitol city, Manila, resulted in the urban ruins depicted in this immersive gallery.
The enemy also had a logistical advantage: an underground network of caves and tunnels depicted in this evocative gallery.
This haunting gallery surrounds with scenes from ravaged bomb sites, presented on oversize screens and accompanied by a somber soundtrack.
All Pixels all the Time: Midway
From the football field to the rugged Kilay Ridge, "Jock" Clifford Jr., a living legend among his peers, was beloved by all.
As Dusty Kleiss pulled away from the Japanese fleet, he kicked rudder in his Dauntless and looked back at his target. Kaga was undergoing a series of explosions that utterly eviscerated the ship, exposing her innards like some disemboweled animal.
Recognizing the Sacrifice of Taffy 3 at Leyte Gulf
Explore Museum digital assets to learn more about the six-month fight to take the island of Guadalcanal, a vital step in defeating the Japanese in the Pacific theater.
Farewell to the last surviving Doolittle Raider, who generously shared his unforgettable WWII story.
From the Museum's Digitial Collections, firsthand narration to accompany the recent images from 17,500 feet below the Pacific waves.
Explore Museum assets—from oral histories to online resources to exhibit content to essays by our historians—to learn more about the African American experience in World War II.