The mission of the Tropic Lightning Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit the artifacts and related memorabilia, which reflect the history of Schofield Barracks, the 25th Infantry Division, and Wheeler Army Airfield.
In August 1956, the 25th Infantry Division Association, Schofield Barracks Chapter, started to collect the Division's history, memorabilia and assorted artifacts. On 28 October 1957, the museum committee held its first meeting in a small room behind the Headquarters Commandant’s office. The new museum moved to a more spacious location in November 1958 and featured displays of equipment and uniforms with artillery guns and military vehicles in front of the building.
When the 25th Infantry Division deployed to Vietnam, the museum was turned over to the Installation and became the Post Museum. While in Vietnam, the Division maintained its own collection and displays of captured items. Upon its return, the two unofficial museums were merged to form a historical holding as defined by the Center of Military History.
In May of 1984, the holding was recognized as a provisional U.S. Army Museum by the Chief of Military History. As part of a major upgrade and improvement, the museum moved to the newly renovated space in Carter Hall, the original Post Library. The Tropic Lightning Historical Center was opened to the public on 1 October 1984.
The next major renovation was undertaken for the 50th Anniversary of the 25th Infantry Division. On 1 October 1991, the Tropic Lightning Museum opened two new galleries. The first gallery tells the history of Schofield Barracks from 1908 to 1942. The second gallery picks up the story by following the 25th Infantry Division into the Pacific and traces their combat history from World War II to Vietnam.
In October 2001, in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Division, the Tropic Lightning Museum expanded into the west wing of Carter Hall. The wing opened with a new Changing Gallery and adjoining multipurpose room. Construction for future exhibits is currently underway.
Explore the history of early Schofield Barracks and the grim conditions the U.S. Army had to overcome as it settled the plains of central Oahu.
25th Infantry Division
Follow the 25th Infantry Division throughout the Pacific. Experience the battles waged and won by our brave Soldiers in combat during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
Wheeler Airfield Gallery
Chart the formative years of the Army Air Corps, the aviation exploits of famed civilian aviators such as Amelia Earhart and Sir Kingsford-Smith during the height of the aviation boom, and Wheeler’s involvement during the attack on December 7, 1941.
Post-Vietnam, Cold War, Peacekeeping, & the Global War on Terrorism Gallery
Discover what the 25th Infantry Division soldiers have done during Post-Vietnam, Cold War, Peace-keeping operations, and the Global War on Terrorism.
Visiting the Museum
You will need a photo ID for all adults. Have your registration, insurance and safety check documents or rental car agreement for your vehicle ready at the gate to get a visitor pass.
Find more information about visitor passes and up-to-date information about accessing the installation, visit the Visitor Information page .
361 Waianae Ave.
U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii
P.O. Box 8088
Honolulu, Hawaii 96830-0088