ROTC students jump into VR world for immersive look at Pearl Harbor attack
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 80 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, future Naval officers at UH-Manoa received a deeper understanding of the conflict Tuesday through virtual reality.
The VR technology is offered to visitors at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
On Tuesday, UH’s Naval ROTC program went under the headset for a completely immersive experience that gives them an up-close, 360-degree view of the attacks.
“This lets them have a better link to their past and show them how they’re directly connected through the heritage of sailors who have gone before them,” said Navy Lt. and class instructor Sawyer Smith.
Developed by Pacific Historic Parks, the program was built from extensive research and interviews with attack survivors.
It features re-created scenes from the deck of the USS Utah, the cockpit of a Japanese fighter and the underwater remains of the USS Arizona.
“Obviously, we watch the newsreels from the time we read about it in our books, but you never really get to, kind of get that first-person experience,” said midshipman Nathaniel Coleman.
“Whether it was standing on the deck of the VR or sitting in the cockpit of those aircraft, so I thought it was a really cool experience.”
What also resonates is the lessons that will guide these young officers in missions that lie ahead.
“There was steps that could have been taken to prepare for it‚” said midshipman Sarah Van Hoogmode. “I would agree that that’s the biggest takeaway is to apply what happened in the past and learn from it to be more prepared in the future.”
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