Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

I usually post something for Pearl Harbor Day a little late this year

Late Ewa Field Update
 
Aloha Mayor Carlisle,
"Lest We Forget" – Fort Barrette and MCAS Ewa Field Annual Pearl Harbor Day
Commemoration Events, Sunday December 5, 2010
 
Attached Photos by Jerry Stanfield
Video by Tom Berg
 
 
Approximately 250 people attended the third annual Fort Barrette and MCAS
Ewa Field Commemoration events, featuring veteran speakers, military vehicle
convoy, US Air Force, US Marine ceremonial teams, and US Coast Guard HH-65A
Dolphin helicopter fly-by.
 
It was a beautiful sunny morning as veterans and local residents gathered
first at Fort Barrette, Kapolei ( known today as the Kapolei Archery Range )
where four US Army coast Artillery soldiers stationed nearby, and were
killed by attacking Japanese Zero fighters and Val dive bombers. Hawaii
Veteran Services director and Master or Ceremonies Mark Moses read the names
of the KIA, after which the seven member Hickam US Air Force ceremonial
rifle team fired M-14 rifles in salute, followed by taps from the US PACAF
band bugler.
 
The entire attending group then convoyed from Fort Barrette lead by WW-II
military vehicles, including jeeps, trucks and M20 Armored Car. Following
them were cars and vans loaded with veterans, military cadets and Pearl
Harbor vets and their families. The MCAS Ewa commemoration site is located
where the actual battle took place and the event parking area is where the
original 1941 hanger once stood. The Ewa marine air base aircraft ramp,
hanger and fortified aircraft revetments were also a featured location in
the 1970 movie "Tora, Tora, Tora."
 
Beginning around 10:30 AM, the MCAS Ewa Field Commemoration event began with
a "Pearl Harbor has been bombed" radio news flash and the playing of
President Roosevelt's famous "Day of Infamy"
Speech. Then the presentation of colors by US Marines from the 3rd Radio
Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii-Kaneohe.
 
Master of Ceremonies and Ewa Beach resident Tito Montes introduced the
attending veterans and guests which included the Fleet Reserve Association,
Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Park Service.
The large pavilion tent and chairs were provided by the Ewa Beach Lions Club
and the National Guard Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy cadets provided
parking direction.
 
Speakers included Ray Emory, well known Pearl Harbor historian and survivor
of the USS Honolulu, who has dedicated his life to identifying those killed
which still are listed as unknowns. Also speaking was Ewa Field combat
veteran John Hughes, Major, USMC, Ret. who told the assembled audience what
it was like out there at the Marine Air Group 21 fighter base on December 7,
1941. LCDR David Stroud, US Navy Chaplain Corps provided the morning
benediction service.
 
Other speakers included John Willoughby, a retired Navy P-3 Orion pilot and
American Legion member, and LCDR Edward Ahlstrand US Coast Guard Barbers
Point historian who recounted Ewa Field history and the US Coast Guard
December 7th actions. Joedy Adams of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor
Survivors stated their groups intention to keep alive the "Lest We Forget"
mission and also made a plea for the historic preservation of the MCAS Ewa
attack site.
 
The names of four US Marines and two Ewa Village civilians killed on
December 7, 1941 were read, as well as the names of eight US Navy air
crewmen from the USS Enterprise who were shot down by Japanese Zeros near by
Ewa Field. These Navy planes and subsequent shot down Japanese planes, all
crashed in in nearby areas or offshore in and around the local Ewa Beach
community.
 
There are no memorials or commemorations for any of these December 7 Navy
deaths in Ewa West Oahu, which remain part of the largely untold Ewa air
combat "Pearl Harbor' story where the most significant air combat action
took place that Sunday morning. December 7th veteran John Hughes after the
ceremony described seeing an Army P-40 pilot shoot down two Japanese planes
just seconds apart over Ewa Field.
Hughes himself later became a decorated Marine combat pilot in the Pacific
War that began that morning with him fighting back against Japanese planes
armed only with just a 1903 Springfield rifle.
 
A rifle salute team of US Marines from the 3rd Radio Battalion, Marine Corps
Base Hawaii and bugler from the MARFORPAC Band provided the rifle salute and
playing of taps for the 14 US Marines, Naval airmen and Ewa civilians killed
on the morning of December 7, 1941. This was followed by a low flyover of a
US Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter which is based near by at USCG Air
Station Barbers Point.
 
Following the event the Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association,
Hawaii Military Vehicle Museum and the Hawaii Historic Arms Association
displayed their vehicles and re-enactment weapons for the attendees. Others
gathered around Pearl Harbor historian Ray Emory and Ewa Field Marine
veteran John Hughes to ask questions about what they saw that Sunday
December 7th morning. For many it was a great honor just to shake the hand
of these great WW-II veterans and December 7th survivors.
 
Other Ewa Village residents were also available to recount their own
eye-witness attack stories, including Kiyoshi Ikeda, a retired UH Hawaii
college professor who lived in nearby Ewa Village as a teenager, and barely
missed being killed by a strafing Japanese plane. The extensive attack on
Ewa Village remains as another uncommemorated  and yet to be fully
documented Pearl Harbor history.
 
The Ewa West Oahu Pearl Harbor histories and stories were again barely
mentioned and largely ignored by the US National Park Service for reasons
that suit certain pro-developer interests and agendas.
Fort Barrette – MCAS Ewa Event Coordinator – John Bond,  808-685-3045
*****************************************************************
ALSO SEE Honolulu Star Advertiser Story…
An airfield gets its due during a ceremony recalling Dec. 7, 1941  By Dan
Nakaso
******************************************************************
Retired US Marine Jack Cunningham has made a "Cause" webpage for Save Ewa
Field…
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