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