War in the Pacific Tour with Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor

 4.9 - 8 reviews
The tour has far exceeded our expectations. We have loved getting to know you and to share this wonderful experience with you.

– Gary and Joy Peck

War in the Pacific Tour is a transformative experience!

Travel with our historians to the islands where the battles raged during the War in the Pacific, where “uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Our experts in WWII history will discuss the American and Japanese strategies and how these strategies actually played out on the Pacific islands of Hawaii, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, and Iwo Jima.

Our tour is the most comprehensive War in the Pacific Tour. We visit Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor where the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941 and the remains of the sunken USS Arizona rests. We explore the invasion beaches of Saipan where hundreds of Japanese jumped to their deaths. We travel to Tinian, which is where the departure airfield for the Enola Gay and the atomic bomb was located. We learn about the battle sites on Guam, key in the story of the Navajo Indian code talkers role, and also the site of the War Dog Memorial. We experience the emotion of climbing Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, where the American flag was raised to symbolize victory on Iwo Jima, an iconic image forever etched in our minds.

Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor Memorial Service

SAHT is proud to partner with the Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) to bring Iwo Jima Veterans, family members, historians, educators, and those who need to walk the “Black Sands of Iwo Jima” to the island where the most iconic battle of the Pacific Theater occurred. The IJAA, in coordination with the Japanese Government, the Iwo Jima Association of Japan, and military commands from both countries, will conduct a joint “Reunion of Honor” ceremony on Iwo Jima. 

With its three airfields, Iwo Jima was ideally located as a fighter-escort station. It was also an ideal sanctuary for crippled bombers returning from Japan.

  • The U.S. Air Force fought in the longest sustained aerial offensive of the war.
  • More Marines were sent to Iwo Jima than to any other battle.
  • More medals for heroism were awarded for action on Iwo Jima than any battle in the history of the U.S.

This is only an inkling of the history you will learn as you island-hop through the War in the Pacific.

All guests going to Iwo Jima must attend the full tour. However, guests can sign up for the the tour without the day trip to Iwo Jima. Because entry on Iwo Jima is limited to American passport holders, our international guests will have a free day on Guam during the day visit to Iwo.

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Highlights

  • Reunion of Honor Memorial Service: Attend the day-long Memorial Tour and Observance on Iwo Jima
  • Hawaii: Visit Battleship Row in Hawaii where the remains of the sunken USS Arizona rests
  • Saipan: Walk the invasion beaches of Saipan, Harakiri Gulch, and Marpi Point, where hundreds of Japanese jumped to their deaths
  • Tinian: Visit the launching field for the Enola Gay and atomic bomb
  • Guam: See the key battle sites on Guam and the War Dog Memorial
  • Mt. Suribachi: Climb Mt. Suribachi, where the American flag was raised on Iwo Jima

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Hawaii

Our tour will begin at the Welcome Reception and Dinner at the Honolulu hotel. You will meet the Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours staff and your fellow travelers.

Ford Island is the centerpiece of the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark District and adjacent to Battleship Row. The original airfield, air tower, WWII hangars, a collection of bungalows and officers’ housing remain on the site.

Battleship Row, home to the USS Arizona Memorial, is built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on December 7, 1941. The loss of life on this “Day of Infamy” became the focal point for a nation that was previously divided over the issue of involvement in the war.

The group will visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the Honolulu Memorial, referred to as the Punchbowl. Located in Puowaina Crater, roughly translated, “Puowaina” means “Hill of Sacrifice.” Here you will hear an overview of the entire Pacific War.

Saipan and Tinian

The capture of Saipan was one of the turning points of the war in the Pacific. Following Japan’s surrender in 1945, Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Miwa of the Japanese Navy said, “Our war was lost with the loss of Saipan.”

In Saipan, you will visit the Invasion Beaches and battle sites of Operation Forager. Our historians will discuss the combat between the Americans and the Japanese during the 24 days it took to secure the island. Names that testified to the bitter fighting were given, such as Death Valley, Purple Heart Ridge and Harakiri Gulch, where the last major battle of the island occurred.

You will visit Aslito Airfield, as well as Mount Topotchau, and Marpi Point. It was at Marpi Point that hundreds of Japanese civilian families jumped to their deaths. Droves of Japanese soldiers also committed suicide at the many cliffs around Saipan, either jumping to their death, or by grenade.

Tinian is perhaps most famous for being the departure site for atomic bomb. The USS Indianapolis, prior to its departure for the Philippines, delivered this secret cargo to Tinian. Our historians will talk about the USS Indianapolis, the sinking of the ship and survival of the crew in the shark-infested waters. While in Tinian, we will spend some time focusing on the Tinian airport, which in 1945, was perhaps the busiest and largest in the world. At North Field, look for the plaques that mark the location of the bomb loading pits for the “Enola Gay” and “Bocks Car.”

Guam

Our study of Guam will begin with the Invasion Beaches, Asan and Agat beaches. These two invasion beaches, separated by the Orote Peninsula, are located six miles apart, on the west central coast of Guam.

Asan Point is a primary visitor area where the overall story of the Pacific War is told by means of museum exhibits. Historic sites, including a number of gun emplacements, caves, foxholes and pillboxes are located within the Asan Beach Unit. Gaan Point, at the center of Agat Beach, is another place of interest, which also contains many WWII sites and structures. The beach and offshore area here are relatively unspoiled and provides a good impression of how they looked in 1944.

One interesting aspect of the recapture of Guam was the role played by the Navajo Indian servicemen, who operated the radios openly conversing in their native tongue, unknown to the Japanese. This successful tactic completely baffled the Japanese, who expected to hear coded English. Another interesting place to visit in Guam is The War Dog Memorial. Located on the Naval Facility, it honors the Dobermans that served with the Marines in 1944 and who were killed in action performing duties such as leading scouting parties, exploring caves and serving as sentries.

Iwo Jima

After an early breakfast at the hotel, the group will take a charter flight to Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima, with its three airfields, was ideally located as a fighter-escort station; it was also an ideal sanctuary for crippled bombers returning from Japan. The U.S. Air Force fought in the longest sustained aerial offensive of the war, and more Marines were sent to Iwo Jima than to any other battle. More medals for heroism were awarded for action on Iwo Jima than any battle in the history of the U.S. Our historians will discuss the American and Japanese strategies and the bloody battle that ensued for 36 days as we tour Iwo Jima. It is atop Mt. Suribachi that the flag was raised, indicating victory on Iwo Jima. It is this picture that is etched in our minds as we remember Iwo Jima, “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue.”

Farewell Day

Our last day in Guam will be a free morning to recover and reflect from yesterday’s trip to Iwo Jima. Our tour will conclude that evening at a Farewell Dinner, hosted by the 3rd Marine Corps Division Association Guam.

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Tour Dates

  • 2025 Tour - March 2025
  • 2025 Koror & Peleliu Extension - March 2025
  • 2025 Japanese Extension - March 2025
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Tour Price Format: Land + Flights

The SAHT War in the Pacific Tour cost is broken down to the Reunion of Honor ceremony on Iwo Jima, the land-based cost of the tour, and flights. The land-based cost includes hotels, buses, admission, and staff, but excludes commercially available flights between Honolulu, Guam, Saipan, and Tinian. United will calculate each party's flight costs individually based on when they are booking flights, where your flights start/end, and upgraded seats.

2024 Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor Memorial Service

$3,045 per person. All guests going to Iwo Jima must attend the full tour. However, guests can sign up for the tour without the day trip to Iwo Jima. Because entry on Iwo Jima is limited to American passport holders, our international guests will have a free day on Guam during the day visit to Iwo.

2024 War in the Pacific tour

The tour-only, land-based price is $7,745 per person based on double occupancy. If rooming alone, there will be a single occupancy supplement of $1,700. Flight costs will be calculated separately and added to each statement.

(Tour plus Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor equals $10,790 per person in the case of double occupancy.)

2024 Peleliu & Koror Extension

The Peleliu and Koror extension cost is $2,410 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement of $600 if rooming alone. There is limited room on the extension. Not all requests are guaranteed a seat.

2024 Japanese Extension

The Japanese extension cost is $3,500 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement of $600 if rooming alone.

2025 Tour and Extensions

Dates and prices for the 2025 War in the Pacific Tour with the Renuinon of Honor, as well as the optional extensions, will be announced. However, we are taking $500 per person deposits for first refusal when we do announce the 2025 dates and prices.

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