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.
Dancer Patty Thomas was often showcased by her boss and troupe leader Bob Hope as a living embodiment of what American troops were fighting for. Thomas brought levity and youthful femininity to the staging areas of the harshest fighting in the Pacific.
Take a look at some beer-related items from the Museum.
Just in time for WrestleMania, the contributions of professional wrestlers during World War II ranged from performing at bond drives to giving the military tips on hand-to-hand combat, while some wrestlers actually served and fought on the front lines.
How one Marine's final heroic act on Peleliu led to another on Okinawa.
As the American advance pushed further south, it ran headlong into fortified Japanese positions and heavily defended caves near Kakazu Ridge, the first defensive perimeter in what would be called the Shuri Line. The rapid advance and relatively light American casualties sustained so far on Okinawa ended.
In the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history, 27 Marines and sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor for action on Iwo Jima. No other campaign surpassed that number.
During the battle for Okinawa, the crew of the USS Texas spent over 50 days confined to battle stations in gun turrets and compartments deep within the ship. They stayed put, and saved lives.
Many entertainers and future celebrities answered their country's call and donned US Navy and Coast Guard blues, serving at sea during the war.