Monday, July 18, 2016

Friday, December 4, 2015

Ewa Field nears historic list but many sites still undocumented

Major Pacific War Sites in Ewa Remains Completely Undocumented

by John Bond, Ewa Historian

75th Anniversary of December 7, 1941 - Ewa Battlefield still has many undocumented historic sites

75th Anniversary: USMC Pilots Sacrifice- Ewa Field Was Front Lines In Early Pacific War

Part of old Ewa Field nears historic list

A state review board OKs the nomination, despite objections from a lessee of the site
By William Cole    Nov 29, 2015

The Hawaii Historic Places Review Board has unanimously recommended the placement of about 180 acres of Ewa Field on the National Register of Historic Places — over the objection of the Hunt Development Group, which leases a lot of the land.

The National Park Service, which oversees the register, and the Navy, as the property owner, previously deemed remnants of the old Marine Corps Air Station Ewa eligible for the historic recognition.

The state review board's Nov. 13 recommendation puts Ewa Field one step closer to that listing — and conflicts with Hunt's development plans. The issue also calls into question what is and isn't officially declared to be historic in a state with a lot of unique history.

Historian Ross Stephenson wrote a letter of support for the Ewa Field nomination, pointing out that while some claim there is "nothing there," foundations, runways and artifacts do in fact exist. Buildings have been torn down.

"Note that recently the Honouliuli Internment Camp, just a few miles mauka of Ewa Field, was placed on the National Register," he said. "Honouliuli also consists mostly of foundations. I can see no difference between these two sites in eligibility."

In a letter, Hunt asked the review board to reject or defer the nomination and listing of 180 acres relating to Ewa Field, located in the northeast corner of what later became Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
Steve Colon, president of development for Hunt's Hawaii region, said in an email that "the Navy leased this property to us at full market value. Both the Navy and Hunt believed the area had significant potential for productive use."

The actual National Register designation may come back at about 150 acres by removing, for example, parts of a golf course. About 140 acres of the old airfield are leased by Hunt, Colon said.
As envisioned under the Hawaii Community Development Authority master plan, the area was intended for a variety of projects including renewable energy, light industrial, research and development, and mixed-use residential/retail, Colon said.

"Our understanding is that if the entire area is placed on the register, a significant amount of our property will not be put to a productive use like providing renewable energy," Colon said.

But those development guidelines were considered when few officials even knew the old Ewa Field still existed, obscured by thorny kiawe and other overgrowth at what many assumed was just part of the later Barbers Point air station, which closed in 1999.

Ewa Beach historian John Bond, who discovered what was left of the airfield around 2007, mounted a relentless campaign to bring attention to the Marine Corps history that lay hidden in the weeds.
William Chapman, chairman of the Hawaii Historic Places Review Board, called the site "extraordinary."
"To realize what's there is just breathtaking, really," said Chapman, who walked the site on Veterans Day. He noted strafing marks and an original runway that are "very clearly" visible.
"It's a powerful evocation of the site," he said.

The establishment of Ewa Mooring Mast Field brought a 160-foot mast in 1925 for dirigibles, but two crashes on the mainland led to the cancellation of the program.
The Ewa site later served as the forward Marine Corps airfield in the Hawaiian Islands during World War II. Prior to Dec. 7, it was fully functioning but still under construction, according to a report by GAI Consultants.
The Marines had 48 aircraft at Ewa at the time of the Japanese attacks. Most were SBD Dauntless dive bombers and F4F Wildcat fighters. In the aerial attack that preceded Pearl Harbor by two minutes, nine of 11 Wildcat fighters, 18 of 32 scout bombers, three utility planes, one trainer and two utility planes were eventually lost on the ground as Marines fired back with Springfield rifles and handguns, the report said.
Four Marines were killed, along with two civilians. Thirteen Marines were wounded.

Japanese planes were attacked over Ewa by celebrated U.S. Army pilots George Welch and Kenneth Taylor, who took off from Haleiwa Airfield in P-40 fighters. The GAI report said Ewa Field is the only major battle site from the Japanese attack on Oahu not listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A $54,000 American Battlefield Protection Program grant was secured by Ewa Beach resident Valerie Van der Veer for the GAI study of the Ewa Plain Battlefield. It is that report the state will submit back to the Navy and National Register of Historic Places for final approval, officials said.

Ewa Field "retains sufficient architectural, archaeological, and/or landscape integrity to convey its historical significance," the GAI report states. The National Register of Historic Places last year said it supported the GAI findings.

At the Nov. 13 meeting, attorney Sarah Love, representing Hunt, told the state historic review board the nomination "goes beyond what should be included under law," adding, "It includes areas that we believe don't retain sufficient amount of integrity."

Love also noted that Ewa Field is the first National Register "battlefield" nomination in Hawaii, with other bases — Hickam, Kaneohe and Pearl Harbor included — not included as battlefields.

"The entire island was a part of that day (Dec. 7), so I think that this is going to have implications," she said.

The National Park Service said the American Battlefield Protection Program "promotes the preservation of significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hunt Corp Destroys Local Historic Landmark - Barbers Point 1943 MCAS Ewa Squadron Wall

Hunt Corp Destroys

Local Historic Landmark

Barbers Point 1943 MCAS Ewa Squadron Wall

Identified in official 2012 report, Navy says it was a "mistake"

by John Bond  Ewa Historian 


The MCAS Ewa Squadron Wall was identified in the 2011 Ewa Battlefield Report by Mason Architects. There was a color photo of the wall and it was listed as having been constructed in 1943.

Shortly before the first Ewa Battlefield Section 106 meeting began in Kalaeloa Hunt Corp ordered the local landmark knocked down overnight with all of the evidence of it being there removed.

There was no notice or discussion with the community at all. The Navy had promised that all historic structures were protected by State and Federal laws and the Section 106 process would allow the community the opportunity to be notified and consulted.

The local community would eventually learn that the Navy never had any intention of keeping their promises when it came to Hunt Corp, a private Texas family corporation that has major influence over Hawaii politicians, government offices and the employees of the Naval Facilities command based at Pearl Harbor.

Hunt Corp always received exclusive special exemption from federal preservation laws as Navy realtor's greased the way towards massive profits from federal public lands. 

It is believed that the squadron wall was built in 1943 primarily as a privacy wall for the nearby combat pilot officers quarters (foundations nearby.)

However squadrons began painting their insignia's on it (since they lived next to it) and the tradition continued during the Navy Cold War era. The Coast Guard was still using it and providing
periodic maintenance after the base closed in 1999.

The issue of knocking down the wall came up numerous times in the Navy-Hunt KREP PV farm Section 106 and the community was told it was just a "mistake" and Hunt shouldn't have done it. The Navy said they would probably rebuild it. But that never happened.

Later the community would learn that the Navy never intended to enforce any protections or covenants for identified cultural and historic sites in Kalaeloa, former Barbers Point.

Squadron Wall Photos: Military Historian John Bennett

Sunday, September 13, 2015

HUNT Navy KREP: Agreement Broken Caused Karst Collapse And Subsurface Damage

HUNT Navy KREP: Agreement Broken Caused Karst Collapse And Subsurface Damage

Navy Reneged On Signed Programmatic Agreement - Many Times



by John Bond   Ewa Historian

 After attending an on site meeting at the Hunt Navy KREP PV site where the contracted Navy archaeologist stated that no vehicles or machinery over Gross Vehicle Weight of 9000 pounds, the Hunt site developer immediately brought in the largest heavy trucks, semi's and metal tracked equipment crushing through the fragile ancient coral karst surface.

Heavy tractor trailer and large metal tracked equipment were used to
clear the KREP PV site despite very clear and specific PA agreement not
to do so. The Navy archaeologist, if ever there at all, never bothered to
enforce the PA and neither did the Navy at Pearl Harbor which had signed the
KREP Programmatic Agreement.

The result was very extensive flooding of the site area, fracturing the
underground WW-II era MCAS Ewa water distribution system.

 During WW-II construction a large bulldozer fell into a huge underground karst cave

This actually happened again several more times in the area north and west of
the PV construction site, flooding area roads and wasting huge amounts of water
as Hunt Corp moved heavy machinery and very heavy large trucks back and forth.

July 30, 2012 Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park Programmatic Agreement-
Broken Programmatic Agreement:

"Clearing shall be performed with manual labor and small-scale machinery and
light trucks (maximum GVW of 8,500 pounds, as defined by Corporate Average
Fuel Economy standards). Bulldozers and metal-tracked equipment shall not
be used for clearing activities."

Nearly all of the metal tracked machinery was repeatedly brought back and forth 
across the 1941 runway on a regular basis from
another base yard area near Coral Sea Road where Hunt Corp tenants are
American Machinery.

Way over agreed GVW trucks and machinery fracture subsurface karst caves

The result is fracturing the WW-II era sand filled karst sinkholes and caves

 The community warned about the porous karst noted in original MCAS Ewa documents

 During airfield construction in WW-II beach sand was poured into the many karst caves

These same heavy weight trucks pound and crack the local roadways

Airfield under early 1925 construction show hundreds of karst caves and sinkholes

 During WW-II construction a large bulldozer fell into a huge underground cave.
Beach sand was poured into the many sinkholes and caves. But eventually it
washes out from decades of rainfall.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Great News!

Ewa Field Battlefield Determination of Eligibility (DOE)

 by the National Park Service in Washington, DC

Hawaii State Legislature, 2009, HCR49 HD1


The purpose of this concurrent resolution is to urge the President of the United States (U.S.), Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Interior to preserve Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, or a portion of it, as a National Monument.

     The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Historic Hawaii Foundation, and concerned individuals supported this concurrent resolution.

     Your Committee has amended this concurrent resolution by:

(1)  Requesting that the U.S. Navy and its private, public and nonprofit partners to proceed with the research, battlefield analysis, and other activities necessary to designate an appropriate boundary within Ewa Field for nomination to the Hawaii State and National Registers of Historic Places;

(2)  Requesting the Department of Land and Natural Resources to report to the 2010 Legislature on these activities;

(3)  Including the U.S. Navy in the list of persons urged to preserve the Marine Corps Air Station Ewa;

(4)  Including the Commander of Navy Region Hawaii in the list of persons who are to receive a certified copy of this concurrent resolution;

(5)  Making other amendments to conform this concurrent resolution to these amendments; and

(6)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Economic Revitalization, Business, & Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of H.C.R. No. 49, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to the Committee on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources in the form attached hereto as H.C.R. No. 49, H.D. 1.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Economic Revitalization, Business, & Military Affairs

5/6/2009 S Report and Resolution Adopted. Transmitted to House.
5/6/2009 H Resolution adopted in final form.


Draft Ewa Plains Battlefield Nomination And Photo Archive Available:

'Forgotten​' Sacrifice Honored In West Oahu

Stars and Stripes: Developers have WWII airfield in their sights

Developers have WWII airfield in their sights 

By Wyatt Olson 
Stars and Stripes  July 14, 2013

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — During an anniversary ceremony in Hawaii several years ago, retired Marine Maj. John Hughes described the scene of the surprise attack by the Japanese on the island on Dec. 7, 1941.

Then a sergeant, he ordered his men to break out guns and ammo to protect the nearby aircraft when he heard and saw the Japanese Zeros overhead.

“I got off a few rounds, maybe three shots, then started (moving) the planes,” Hughes recalled at the ceremony, according to a Marine Corps account.

“Some planes were on fire, and we moved the other ones to save as many as we could. We’d fire a few shots, go back to pushing planes and then go back to firing.”

But Hughes wasn’t at Pearl Harbor or any of the other well-known military sites attacked that day. He and his comrades were manning Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, one of the first military installations to be hit by the approaching attack force.

“The island of Oahu was a battlefield that morning,” said Daniel A. Martinez, chief historian at WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Site - USS Arizona Memorial. “In order to crush the American ability to oppose the attack, the Japanese carefully and skillfully planned an attack to wipe out the airfields. And one of those airfields was Ewa.”

Today, the largely forgotten airfield is covered in weeds with development encroaching on all sides — despite efforts by local activists to secure permanent preservation status for the historic battlefield.

Hickam Field, Wheeler Army Airfield, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and Ford Island were long ago officially designated National Historic Landmarks.

“Only Ewa Field was left off the list,” said John Bond, who has spearheaded a years-long campaign to bring the battlefield the respect and protection he and others believe it deserves.

“We’ve brought this up repeatedly to the Navy and everybody: Why doesn’t Ewa Field get the same honor and recognition that all these other places get legally?”

The local historian claims the field is under attack again — this time by developers.

Earlier this year a Navy-sanctioned 20-acre solar photovoltaic farm was completed near the field, and now the Honolulu City Council is poised to pass a long-term development “guidance plan” that could give a developer the go-ahead to build roads through the heart of the former battlefield, Bond said.

Others don’t see the plan as a threat and say adequate steps are underway to preserve the site.

In a written response to Stars and Stripes, Honolulu City Council member Kymberly Marcos Pine, whose district includes Ewa Village, said, “As a proud granddaughter of a Pearl Harbor survivor and wife of an active duty Navy Officer, I would never support any legislation that would dishonor the memory of our military.”

Martinez said he’s seen a copy of a map showing the projected roads.

“I was quite concerned that the portion of the airfield where the Marines died and where the battle took place was going to be violated with a road going right through it,” Martinez said.

“There is this disturbing reticence of recognizing what is the best thing for Ewa Field that has been going on now for nearly five years,” said Martinez, who described the field as “sacred ground.”

While Martinez’s employer, the U.S. National Park Service, manages most of the military historical sites associated with the Dec. 7 attack, it has only served as an adviser in regard to Ewa Field. The Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program last year awarded a $54,000 grant to the local non-profit Ewa Plains Programs, which is intended to “document the extent of the battlefield on and around” Ewa Field, according to the ABPP’s website. The documentation “will lead to greater awareness of the site and aid in future preservation efforts.”

If the property were designated a National Historic Landmark or listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it would fall under the provision of the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires the controlling agency to “minimize harm” to the landmark in any planning or actions, according to the Park Service’s website.

Ewa Field was established as a western guard for Pearl Harbor, which is about 17 miles to the east and was the island’s key defense. Ewa station was still under construction in late 1941, with many of the 800 Marines there still living in tents.

Three “waves” of attack planes passed over Ewa Field while on their way to other targets to the east. The first planes began strafing the almost 50 U.S. aircraft parked there, destroying most of them.
It was the Marine station’s misfortune that it served as a rendezvous point for squadrons of Japanese aircraft that had completed their sorties over other parts of Oahu. As the Japanese pilots circled awaiting the link up, they took the opportunity to unload their unused ammo on the Marines and villagers below.

“They would rotate out here and kept shooting up the place,” said Bond, a military buff who has extensively researched the airfield’s history. “It was the only town in Oahu that was attacked by the Japanese. After two hours they all returned to the ships.”

Four Marines and two civilians, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed in the area that morning, according to Martinez.

One of the most salient features remaining from the historical battle is the bullet-riddled concrete ramp where most of the aircraft were parked.

Most of the 1941-era structures are gone, but about 70 concrete “half-shell” enclosures — formally called revetments and built during World War II to protect aircraft from attack — still stand. Some are used as horse stables.

A long-time Hawaii resident, Bond moved to this part of Oahu in 2007 and soon became fascinated with the neglected Marine air station.

Since then he’s led a series of confrontations over development in the area, including opposition to the original plan for the solar farm that called for its construction on the Ewa runway.

A legislative analyst, Bond has developed skepticism for the “fine print” in development agreements and planning documents that developers can use to skirt restrictions.

That, he claims, is the potential with the long-range plan developed by the Hawaii Community Development Authority and being considered by the city council.

He claims that Hunt Companies, which has leased slightly more than 500 acres from the Navy for development, wants a plan in place that includes hypothetical roads that aren’t projected to be needed until 2035.

“But by putting them into law, it allows Hunt Corporation to put in these roads and further damage the whole area and just claim they have the legal right to do it because it’s city planning law,” Bond said.

Steve Colón, president of Hunt Companies’ Hawaiian development division, told Stars and Stripes in a written response that the company in April had submitted a “comprehensive Strategic Implementation Plan” to the development authority that “complements” current state and city policy in directing future growth of Oahu.

“Roads rights-of-way were conveyed by the Navy to the State of Hawai‘i and the City & County of Honolulu (depending on which specific road is in question) over a decade ago as part of the Navy’s Base Closure and Realignment process,” Colón wrote.

Stars and Stripes submitted questions to Navy Region Hawaii, the entity in charge of leasing the site – and ultimately the party that must seek formal preservation -- asking about the proposed roads and the Navy’s position on preserving Ewa Field.

“For the properties that the Navy maintains jurisdiction over, we will continue to work closely with the State Historic Preservation Division, its Historic Preservation Partners, and the public to ensure compliance under all applicable laws,” wrote Bill Doughty, a spokesperson for Navy Region Hawaii.
The Navy did not respond to questions about potential roads over the airfield or what steps it might take to seek landmark designation.

“To be honest with you,” Martinez said, “I’ve been quite baffled that more people have not stepped up and said, ‘We have to preserve this ground because Americans died there.’”

Friday, October 25, 2013

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Important Pioneer US Military Aviators Part Of Ewa Field

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

Important Pioneer US Military Aviators 

Part Of Ewa Field History

By John Bond,  Ewa Historian
The very first Pacific CINCPAC commander, Admiral John Towers was personally involved in Ewa Mooring Mast decisions in early 1941 when the Ewa airship mooring mast (seen in photo with Navy Sec. James Forrestal and Col. Merritt, CO, Ewa Field,1941) was converted into an air traffic control tower. The Ewa Mooring Mast was originally built for the US Navy in 1925.

Left, Sec Navy Forrestal, (USS Forrestal), Col. Lewie Merritt and
Admiral John Towers, right.
Do the many Department of Defense workers at the PACOM command (US Pacific Command), know why PACOM's address (700 Elrod, Camp H.M. Smith) is on a street named Elrod Road?

Capt. Hank Elrod knew he wasn't likely going to make it out alive...
Capt. Hank Elrod, the first Pacific War Medal of Honor recipient, USMC aviator and infantry officer died in hand to hand combat on Wake island. Elrod's F4F Wildcats were delivered directly from Ewa Field to Wake Island by the USS Enterprise, (under command of Admiral Halsey) which sailed back  en route to Pearl Harbor where four Navy Enterprise SBD's were shot down by Japanese Zero's near Ewa Field on Dec. 7, 1941. Several other SBD's later made emergency landings at Ewa Field for gas and 500 pound bombs.

Admiral "Bull" Halsey meets with Col. Lewie Merritt in 1941 at Ewa Field.
Does anyone in the Navy or Marines know (or even care?) that it was Admiral Nimitz who directed Ewa Field to become a Marine Corps Air Station, rather than being absorbed into NAS Barbers Point?
This created the largest US Marine Corps aviation center and operations hub in the Pacific during WW-II. Few aviation Marines today even know or care about the history MCAS Ewa. Their minds are usually blank when the subject of MCAS Ewa comes up...Because it has been largely ERASED.

FMFPac was established by General 'Howling Mad' Smith in 1944 to assume command of USMC forces in the Pacific. Smith is seen here shaking hands with General Geiger at his FMFPac office at MCAS Ewa. Camp H.M. Smith is named for him. General Roy Geiger, a Marine aviation pioneer and only Marine to ever command a US Army, has a road in Ewa named for him.
Do the Marines at MARFORPAC, (US Marine Forces Pacific)  know that FMFPac staff was originally based at MCAS Ewa under US Marine pioneer aviator General Roy Geiger where the location of his HQ is still preserved today as part of the INTELLIGENT DESIGN of the Barbers Point Golf Course?
The layout of the Barbers Point Golf Course was designed by Lt.Cmdr. Wynn Junk, decorated Navy combat pilot, who knew exactly what he was doing when he preserved the ENTIRE 1941 Ewa Field as part of the Barbers Point Golf Course. This from a WW-II generation aviator who believed that the future US Navy and US Marines would remember this great historic site and the people associated with it.

The Barbers Point Golf Course was designed around the original 1941 Ewa Field and battlefield site using portions of the 1943-45 expansion of the base for the golf course links. Care was taken to protect key historic sites including the original MCAS Ewa officers club and FMFPac HQ of General Roy Geiger. Later Navy real estate operators ERASED all of the Ewa Field history to aid in the transfer to their Navy insider friends and created a fake memorial battlefield site.

The history of MCAS Ewa and the people associated with it was all ERASED for a real estate transaction deal arranged by Navy real estate insiders which will ultimately turn the entire base eventually over to Asian investors. Hunt Corp, the Navy insider recipient that makes $500 million in annual profits, seeks only MAXIMUM PROFIT and has already turned over part of the 1941-45 MCAS Ewa to a Korean-mainland China operation.

This is US tax-payer, American battlefield lands where Hunt Corp makes a massive corporate profit. Certain Hawaii politicians have benefitted greatly being the arrangers of this insider deal...

Also named by Lt.Cmdr. Wynn Junk (buried at Punchbowl National Cemetery) is the MCAS Ewa baseball field (Pride Field) in honor of Admiral Alfred Pride, US Navy pioneer of aircraft carrier operations and first WW-II commander of the Belleau Wood.
There is a reason for historic preservation and why American history belongs to the American people and public lands should not be just handed over to greedy corporate land developers who will ultimately sell their US Tax-Payer owned land to the highest bidder, most likely in today's market the mainland Chinese.

This means mainland china and communist military buyers will own an American battlefield next to historic Pearl Harbor naval base. This is the ultimate greedy sell-out of the United States and the cultural history that belongs to the American people- who get NOTHING in return for this sell-out! 
This in itself is one of the greatest scams ever perpetrated against the American people- that past important cultural history is being trashed by careless US Navy and US Marines approving the land sales to their future enemy. Corporate profiteers only care about money in their pockets, and this has been repeated many times in Hawaii- now with vast lands handed over to a single Texas corporation.
John Bond
Ewa Historian

Highways planned through the middle of the 1941 Ewa Battlefield, originally intended to be preserved by the navy designers decades ago. But today its part of a big land sell-out to benefit only a very small insider group of US tax-payer own public land profiteers!


"We were surprised when we heard about this because the Marines, we're deep, deep in the history of our Corps, and we'd never heard of this air station," said Richard Pittman, 67, visitor to Ewa Field and US Marine Medal of Honor recipient.

"This is history, and you are not going to find a site like this that is isolated like this," "I'm standing on history right now." - Jay Vargas, another Medal of Honor recipient.

According to Ewa Field historical research, at least 11 Medals of Honor were awarded to Marine pilots who trained at the combat airfield, home to many famous squadrons.

'Forgotten' Sacrifice Honored In West Oahu


Medal of Honor Recipients at former MCAS Ewa - KHON TV News

Island Images: Medal of Honor - MCAS Ewa Field Medal of Honor Photos

Gathering of the brave - US Marines Medal of Honor visit MCAS Ewa Field to pay respects to fallen Marine aviation heroes

Heroes at Hawaii's Ewa Field defended against Japan attack

Daniel Martinez, chief historian of the USS Arizona Memorial, told the crowd that 'Ewa Field was the birth of Marine aviation in the Pacific "and that is why this place is important." …Ewa Field is "Sacred Ground."

MCAS Ewa Field - home base for eleven Medal of Honor recipient pilots

Developers have WWII airfield in their sights

Roadways which will FOREVER LIVE IN INFAMY?

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