On December 5, 2008, President George W. Bush, under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906, issued an executive order establishing the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument adds nine historic sites to our national heritage of monuments and memorials representing various aspects of the war in the Pacific.
The sites that were chosen as part of the Monument are:
- USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor Center
- USS Utah Memorial
- USS Oklahoma Memorial
- Six Chief Petty Officer Bungalows on Ford Island
- Mooring Quays F6, F7, and F8, which formed part of Battleship Row
- Battlefield remnants on Attu Island
- Japanese occupation site on Kiska Island
- Crash site of a B-24D Liberator bomber on Atka Island
- Tule Lake Segregation Center
The actual wrecks of the Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma are not parts of the monument, and remain under the jurisdiction of the US Navy as the final resting place for those entombed there.
It may come as a surprise to many that the USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor Center were not already National Monuments. Prior to the creation of this new Monument they were managed by the National Park Service, but not officially part of the park system, despite the fact that over 1.5 million people visit them each year. The fact that both are located on an active military base has long complicated the relationship.
In addition to the sites which are officially part of the National Monument, eighteen World War II sites have received special recognition for their historic importance. This designation means that they may now be part of a new federal management plan to tell the story of World War II in the Pacific. Eight of these sites are located in Hawaii:
- Battleship USS Missouri which is moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii
- Ewa Field at Barber's Point on Oahu, Hawaii which was the site of a Marine Corps air station that was also attacked on Dec. 7, 1941
- The large Sen Toku-class I-401 Japanese submarine that was captured at the end of hostilities and sunk as target practice off Barbers Point, Oahu, Hawaii on May 31, 1946. The Sen Toku submarines were the largest submarines of World War II and built to launch a surprise air strike against the Panama Canal.
- The Point Midget Submarine sunk off Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii just prior to the attacks on Dec. 7, 1941
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii
- Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Honolulu, Hawaii
- USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum located adjacent to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii
- Blunts Point Battery in American Samoa
- Guadacanal Island
- Iwo Jima Island
- Landing Beaches, Aslito-Isley Field & Marpi in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- Midway Island WWII Facilities
- Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front NHP in San Francisco, CA
- Tinian Landing Beaches, Usi Point & North Fields on Tinian Island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- USS Yorktown which was sunk off Midway Island
- Wake Island
- War in the Pacific National Historic Park on the island of Guam
- Wendover Airfield in Wendover, UT