Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

In Harm's Way:   The U.S. Navy and World War II:  The Pacific Theater

Bldg. 76


USS Reno, 38 caliber, turret gun
Description: Twin mount 5-inch, 38-caliber gun turret from USS Reno (CL-96).

The Pacific Theater

A radio broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to the nation declaring war on Japan begins the Pacific Theater portion of "In Harm's Way" on the east side of the museum.   This exhibit displays in a chronological manner the technology and tactics used across the Pacific while Americans battled Japanese forces with naval battles and air attacks and land campaigns.  Submarine warfare is covered in detail, while a video presentation takes visitors inside a World War II submarine to explore its living conditions.  Photographic displays depict battles for islands in the Pacific and the war in the Aleutians.  A twin 5-inch 38 caliber gun turret sits on the museum floor for visitors to climb on and look inside.   Video presentations portay elements of the war in the Pacific.  Also displayed is a replica of an atomic bomb casing identical to "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.    Hanging above the exhibit are examples of aircraft used by both American and Japanese forces. 

Interesting artifacts from the Pacific Section of the World War II exhibit "In Harm's Way" include:

  • Twin mount 5-inch, 38-caliber gun turret from USS Reno (CL-96).
  • Enlargement of aerial photograph taken by a Japanese aircraft flying over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
  • Audio presentation of original announcement by President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring war on Japan.
  • Various photo-montages depicting influential military campaigns in the Pacific.
  • The Mark 14 torpedo; the flawed predcessor of the first electric torpedo, the Mark 18
  • Video presentations "Submarine Life" and "Carrier Aviation".
  • Recreated bridge from USS Fletcher (DD-445), a navy destroyer which was the lead-ship of her class.
  • Ship model of USS Leyte (CV-32), an Essex-class carrier named to commemorate the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Phillippines.
  • Interactive exhibit on the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle ever fought. 
  • Ship model of USS Missouri (BB-63), the site of the Japanese surrender to the United States, officially ending World War II.
  • Ship model of USS LSM-201 (landing ship, medium).
  • Quad 40mm anti-aircraft gun mounts of the type used on U.S. Navy carriers and battleships.
  • Japanese Ohka or Baka bomb, suspended above exhibit.
  • Japanese Army Issue Samurai Sword/Infantry Helmet/Cartridge Box/Type 92 Portable Field Telephone
  • Japanese 7.7 mm short rifle and 7.7 mm light machine gun
  • American .30 caliber M-1 carbine rifle; .45 Model 1911A pistol; .45 calber M-3 machine gun
  • F4U-4 Corsair fighter plant, suspended above exhibit.
  • "Little Boy" replica of the Atomic Bomb dropped at Hiroshima, Japan. 
  • Sheet music on the loss of USS Lexington (CV-2) by Everett D. Richard. 

Ship models in the Pacific Theater exhibit area:

Click on the ship model below for a photographic history of the ship.  


NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   Allen M. Sumner Class destroyer
Description: Allen M. Sumner Class destroyer. Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Columbia (CL-46)
Description: USS Columbia (CL-46). Housed in Floating Dry Dock. Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Crosley (APD-87)
Description: USS Crosley (APD-87). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Houston (CA-30)
Description: USS Houston (CA-30): Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Leyte (CV-32)
Description: USS Leyte (CV-32). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Missouri (BB-63)
Description: USS Missouri (BB-63). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Panay (PG-45, later PR-5)
Description: USS Panay (PG-45, later PR-5). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:  In Harm's Way:   The U.S. Navy and WWII:   USS PT-109
Description: USS PT-109. Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Ranger (CV-4)
Description: USS Ranger (CV-4). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS S-48 (SS-159)
Description: USS S-48 (SS-159). Click on model for photographic history of the submarine.

NMUSN:	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Salmon (SS-182)
Description: USS Salmon (SS-182). Click on model for photographic history of the submarine.

NMUSN: 	In Harm’s Way:  U.S. Navy and WWII:  Pacific:   USS Washburn (AKA-108)
Description: USS Washburn (AKA-108). Click on model for photographic history of the ship.
Published:Mon Aug 27 12:47:26 EDT 2018