Aviation Museum Proposed For Pearl Harbor

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Ford Island, the U.S. Navy facility in the middle of Pearl Harbor that was a target of the December 7, 1941, attack that brought the United States into World War II, will become the site of a new aviation museum by 2005, if backers get their way. Plans for the Military Aviation Museum of the Pacific would preserve the details of the historic site, where bullet strafing pockmarks and bomb craters remain, and would add re-created artifacts such as burned-out PBY seaplanes. Exhibits would include up to 100 historic aircraft and feature not only the Pacific theater of World War II, but also the Korean war, Cold War and Vietnam war. "We think the site is so sacred and so important to American history," museum director B. Allan Palmer told The Honolulu Advertiser this week. "We want people to be able to step back in time and see it the way it was during the attack." Supporters plan to spend more than $55 million to build the museum on 22 leased acres of the island, pending approvals from the Navy and Congress.