Army Museum at Fort DeRussy
The Army Museum is located inside Battery Randolph near Ft. DeRussy on Waikiki Beach. Battery Randolph is a reinforced concrete emplacement built in 1911 that could fire projectiles from two 14-inch guns up to 14 miles. It was part of Honolulu's coastal defense system. It became obsolete after World War II and became home to the Army Museum in 1976.
The museum exhibits depict the military history of Hawaii, from the early Hawaiians to present time. The first exhibit shows how the early weapons made from wood, shark's teeth, and stone were replaced with western firearms introduced by Captain Cook in the late 18th century. By landing hundreds of war canoes with men armed to the teeth, invading Kamehameha overran the Oahu defenders and moved ahead in his quest to "unite" all of the islands into one kingdom.
As a result of the Spanish-American War, Hawaii's strategic location became important to the US military. In 1900, Hawaii officially became a US territory and plans for the coastal defense system to protect Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Harbor began to take shape. Battery Randolph and Battery Dudley were built at Fort DeRussy with the purpose of defeating any approaching enemy warships.
Entrance to the Army Museum
Army Museum Gift Shop
Kamehameha arrive on Oahu in war canoes
Late 18th century weapons used in Hawaii
Shell loading in the Hoist Room
Hawaii on Defense exhibit
General Shinseki exhibit
General Shinseki uniform
Gallery of Heroes
Distinguished Service Cross recipients from Hawaii
Tanks exhibit outside the Army Museum
Army Corps of Engineers exhibit
Official Website: Hawaii Army Museum Society
The exhibits lead into the Shell Room, Powder Room, and Hoist Room in Battery Randolph where you can learn about how the men from the Ammunition Detachment detail prepared the projectiles for firing and also view a replica of the shell loading system.
Next you will pass through exhibits showing the early Army aviation history in Hawaii; the Pearl Harbor attack; the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack on Hawaii's citizen's including martial law, citizen volunteers, and the treatment of Japanese Americans; the Korean War; and the Vietnam War.
At the far end of the museum, you will find the General Eric Shinseki Exhibit which traces his impressive military career from West Point through Vietnam, Korea, and Bosnia to his appointment as Chief of Staff and now the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. General Shinseki was born in Hawaii on the island of Kauai.
Upstairs, you will find the Gallery of Heroes which honor recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Hawaii residents who have received the Distinguished Service Cross or the Navy and Air Force Cross are also honored in this display.
Next door, you will find an interesting exhibit based on the important Hawaii flood-control work done by the Army Corps
of Engineers. Also, there are some army tanks located outside the museum entrance and a helicopter on the roof.
* Open Tuesday - Saturday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Allow at least an hour to view all of the exhibits. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
* Self-guided audio tours are available for $5.00. You can listen to period music along with a detailed description of each exhibit as you wander through the museum.
* There is a well-stocked museum gift shop with a collection of interesting books, posters,clothing items, memorabilia, and toys.
* It's easy to miss the upstairs section of the museum. The door leading upstairs is not well-marked and at first glance looks like an emergency exit. Look for it on the left after you view the last exhibit and you are heading down the hall back to the front of the museum.
The Hawaii Army Museum is located on the grounds of Ft. DeRussy Recreation Center in Waikiki. It is easy walking distance from anywhere in Waikiki. Head down Kalakaua (in the opposite direction of Diamond Head), turn left at Saratoga Road (head toward the ocean), turn right on Kalia Rd and you will see the museum on your left.