Friday, July 11, 2014

Hawaii State Legislature, 2009, HCR49 PRESERVATION OF UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AIR STATION EWA

Hawaii State Legislature, 2009, HCR49 HD1

URGING PRESERVATION OF UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AIR STATION EWA
 AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT, MUSEUM, AND RESTORED PARK 
FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII

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.
******************************************************************

 URGING PRESERVATION OF UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS AIR STATION EWA
 AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT, MUSEUM, AND RESTORED PARK 
FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII










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

Important Pioneer US Military Aviators Part Of Ewa Field - MCAS Ewa History Being Sold Off

Important Pioneer US Military Aviators Part Of Ewa Field - MCAS Ewa History Being Sold Off - Likely To Asian Buyers

By John Bond,  Ewa Historian
 
Vast US Tax-Payer owned acreage worth well over $500 Million handed to insider Navy land developer Hunt Corp of Texas, who can easily make a minimum billion dollar profit selling historic MCAS Ewa Field and Naval Air Station Barbers Point to the highest bidder - (like China!)
 
Many in the US Navy and US Marines have little idea of their own history (and maybe don't care anymore because who needs history anyway?) however Ewa Field, birthplace of US Marine Corps aviation in the Pacific, has a history associated with many of the very first US Navy and US Marine Corps pioneer aviators.
 
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


http://ewafield.blogspot.com/2013/05/medal-of-honor-recipients-at-former.html



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


http://ewafield.blogspot.com/2013/04/island-images-medal-of-honor-mcas-ewa.html



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

http://ewafield.blogspot.com/2013/04/gathering-of-brave-us-marines-medal-of.html


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


http://ewafield.blogspot.com/2013/07/MCAS-Ewa-Medal-Of-Honor-Pilots.html



Developers have WWII airfield in their sights

http://www.stripes.com/developers-have-wwii-airfield-in-their-sights-1.230136


Roadways which will FOREVER LIVE IN INFAMY?

http://ewafield.blogspot.com/2013_07_01_archive.html



 

 



 
 
More Links:

 
United States Pacific Command
 
United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific
 
US Fleet Marine Force, Pacific

Where our US Navy ships are going- ultimately in scrap metal pieces to China...
 
USS Forrestal, the Navy's first supercarrier, to be scrapped in 1 cent deal
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Unknown Ewa Battlefield, December 7, 1941




The Unknown Ewa Battlefield, December 7, 1941

Nearly everyone today knows the story of "Pearl Harbor" and what happened.
But that story largely neglects what happened in West Oahu- not just at Ewa Field and Ewa Plantation Village, where 40 planes were destroyed- four Marines and two civilians killed, and 65 reported wounded at local hospitals. Fort Barrette was also attacked by Japanese planes, killing one soldier and wounding others.

Or the air combat that saw five Japanese planes shot down- and the still largely unknown story of 8 Navy SBD's from the USS Enterprise that were also shot down in West Oahu, killing 11 officers and crewmen, as well as the two private planes shot down by Japanese Zero's carrying three West Oahu Army soldiers.

The Ewa West Oahu Battlefield (approximate) total is:
11 Navy pilots and crewmen killed (SBD's and Wildcats)
4 Marines killed (Ground) and many combat wounded
4 Army soldiers killed (3 Air, 1 Ground by strafing)
2 Civilians killed (Ground) and many dozens wounded...
22 U.S combat deaths.
Including the Japanese air crews- around 10
Overall total: 32 killed in Ewa-West Oahu on December 7, 1941.

There is also the very real possibility that the first ground combat of the Pacific War was fought right on the Ewa coastline- a Japanese pilot who held out for two days before finally being killed because he wouldn't surrender.

People know today how bad the Pearl Harbor attack was- but it could have been far worse. The USS Enterprise (CV-6) had gone to Wake Island to drop off Ewa Field Marine Fighter Squadron 211 (VMF-211), and was due back at Pearl on 6 December, but a storm slowed her progress back. If the Enterprise had been sunk at Pearl Harbor, this would have been a very great victory for Japan, and could have significantly altered the Battle of Midway, where the Enterprise aircraft helped sink many of the Japanese carriers and aircraft that had attacked Pearl Harbor.

While the Enterprise did not make it Pearl on December 6, Admiral Halsey decided to send ahead Scouting Squadron 6, nine pairs of SBD-2 dive bombers, mostly from Scout Squadron Six, but including a few planes from Bomb Squadron Six. The planes were to maintain radio silence, search for enemy ships and then land at Ford Island. These planes began arriving along the Ewa coastline at the exact same time that waves of Japanese planes were flying down the same Ewa coastline. The result was one of the least known stories of December 7, 1941.

Coincidently, also arriving from the opposite direction- all unknown to each of the other parties, were a large flight of B-17's from California. And once the attack started, P-40's from Haleiwa Airfield arrived in the same Ewa area as Japanese planes were attacking Ewa Field. The result was one of the most bizarre air combat events of the Pacific War, and it all happened over Ewa, West Oahu.

Meanwhile Japanese began attacking Ewa Marines flown to Wake Island...
 

 
 



'Forgotten' Sacrifice Honored In West Oahu
 
 
 

Thursday, August 8, 2013



Preserving 'Ewa Marine Corps field


an uphill struggle


By William Cole Advertiser Columnist   June 30, 2008

 
'Forgotten' Sacrifice Honored In West Oahu
 

 

 

'Ewa Beach resident John Bond hasn't given up on his struggle to gain preservation of Marine Corps Air Corps Station 'Ewa, one of the first battlefields of U.S. involvement in World War II on Dec. 7, 1941, but he knows he's up against some powerful players with other ideas.

"Despite the recommendations that the 'Ewa Marine Corps Air Field qualifies for the National Historic Register, qualifies for national monument status, qualifies for national battlefield status and the National Battlefield Protection Program," Bond said, the Navy has other plans.

Japanese Zero fighters strafed the nearly 50 Marine aircraft at 'Ewa Field before the first raid on Pearl Harbor minutes later. Four Marines were killed during three waves of attacks.

Joel Fujita, who's now 88, remembers being on the roof of his parents' 'Ewa Plantation home about 50 yards from the base front gate. He and three brothers climbed up on the roof to see what they initially thought was a training exercise.

"A Zero fighter came over. You could see the canopy open," Fujita said. "He was waving to us, so we waved back, and about five minutes later, a plane came back and started to strafe in front of our house."

Bond, an amateur historian who has done a lot of research into 'Ewa Field, said he's pursuing a suggestion from Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory, who was onboard the USS Honolulu, for 'Ewa Field to become a new national veterans cemetery.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl has no more space for in-ground burials.

Bond is trying to rally last-minute support as the Navy, which owns the 'Ewa Field land, finalizes plans to lease to Ford Island Properties 499 acres for 40 years with an option to take title to the property.

A chunk of that land includes the old 'Ewa Field runways.

The Navy said the lease still is being negotiated, with an agreement expected by the end of August. Ford Island Properties is part of the Hunt Development Group.

Steve Colon, president of the Hawai'i division of the Hunt Development Group, previously said in a statement that the Kalaeloa land "offers an opportunity to create needed jobs near the urban center of Kapolei," but added that specific plans had not been made for its use.

Bond believes Hunt will build shopping centers and expensive homes on the land, which abuts Barbers Point Golf Course.

The Navy had said 4 to 5 acres at the center of the old runways are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, but Bond wants a bigger chunk of the old base preserved.

There's not much left to see of the airfield, with only foundation outlines, a Quonset hut and concrete building or two standing, but the original runways are still there. Dozens of arched concrete aircraft revetments remain on a separate portion of the base.

Bond's development concerns for the area are evident in plans like the final lease agreement that recently was signed to bring as a neighbor to 'Ewa Field a big shopping center.

The agreement was announced by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Tampa, Fla.-based Hawai'i DeBartolo LLC. The center, called Ka Makana Ali'i, will have 1.6 million square feet of commercial space.

Fujita recalls a very different time, when Marines in 1941 used to walk over and wait in the family's front yard for the bus to town.

"We had four good friends, Marine pilots, and we used to do their laundry," Fujita said.

He also remembers during the Dec. 7 attack a Marine wounded and in bandages coming into the street with a rifle looking for Japanese infiltrators.

Larry Galola wrote in to say photos of the concrete aircraft revetments brought back memories of when they were used as bomb shelters for elementary students during the early 1950s.

"I attended Barbers Point Elementary School back then and it was located on the edge of the airfield. During the Cold War bomb drills we walked to those revetments and took shelter there," he said. "I also recall exploring all the old abandoned WWII bunkers as a kid living on base."