Memorial hunting on base

MISSING MAN  FORMATION Photo Illustraion; Photos by Maria Sittre-Fujii


Photo Illustraion; Photos by Maria Sittre-Fujii

Reid Tokeshi

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is steeped in history, with many memorials dotting the landscape. Many know of the famous ones, and deservedly so. But there are many others.

In fact, we’ve found some that are unknown to many, and even a few obscure ones on base you probably never knew existed. Large or small, all act as symbols to memorialize or commemorate people and events in history for this base and beyond. Here are some of the markers you may not have noticed. Some you may pass by regularly without noticing it. We’re not telling you everything about them, so that you can discover more about them on your own.



The iconic memorials

Almost everyone already knows of these, but they must be mentioned when discussing memorials.

• USS Arizona Memorial — The most visited attraction in the state, synonymous to the base, Navy and Hawaii.

• Flagpole at Memorial Circle on Hickam — The 75-foot pole is surrounded by plaques, recognizing individuals and moments in history.

• Missing Man Formation — On the Hickam Channel near the Historic Hickam Officers’ Club, a regal monument to those Airmen lost in battle.

• Pearl Harbor Memorial Fountain — Near the flagpole on the Pearl Harbor side of the base, the fountain memorializes all the ships damaged or sunk in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.



You probably know these

Some of you already know of these two, but we’ve found that there are many who live and work on this base that have never visited, or heard of them.

• Courtyard of Heroes — A beautiful courtyard located in the Headquarters of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). Built in 1995, the large granite memorial with an eternal flame is the centerpiece, memorializing those lost in the three wars in the Pacific region — World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Also in the courtyard: “In Defense of the Nation” memorial, a Wall of Valor and the U.S. flag that was flying over Hickam Field during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.

• Pearl Harbor Submarine Memorial — Built in 1960, this memorial is nestled in a small park next to some barracks on the side of the base the subs are docked. Dedicated as a remembrance to all the submarines lost during World War II, plaques are displayed for each of the 52 subs and more than 3,500 submariners still on “patrol.” Lining the perimeter of the park are markers for other submarines with historical ties to the base.



Did you know about these?

• POW/MIA Memorial — The memorial is on Freedom Avenue near the Firestone shop and the skateboard hangar. Originally dedicated in 1980, the memorial was placed in the exact spot where the first POW from Vietnam returned. In 2013, a new memorial was rededicated and moved near the hangar, a location more suitable for visitors. The original still stands, however, between the gas station and mini mart.

• Paquet Hall/Courts — The plaque for the courts is located on North Road just after the mini mart. It is named in honor of a submariner who rescued a naval aviator in 1944, only to be lost at sea himself later that same year.

• USAF Medal of Honor Recipients — Along the bike path at Aloha Aina Park, this marker stands in memory of those awarded the United States Air Force Medal of Honor for service in World War I and II, as well as the Korea and Vietnam wars.

• Gabrunas Hall/Field — Plaques are in both the lobby of the hall and near the recreation area. It is named in honor of a Sailor who voluntarily sacrificed himself so shipmates could escape when their sub was scuttled.

The obscure but not forgotten

The following are memorials that are probably known only to family, friends and those who work nearby.

• “Bubb” Memorial — Across from Fort Kamehameha Chapel is a flagpole flying the POW/MIA flag. Near the pole is a marker dedicated to five enlisted personnel who died during the Dec. 7 attack.

• Arris Memorial — You may have visited Kuntz Chapel and not known there is a memorial there in the courtyard. The marker is dedicated to seven Airmen who died on a mission in 1985.

• JPAC Memorial — A memorial stone near the main DPAA headquarters is displayed in remembrance of a crew on a 2001 mission to Vietnam. In all, seven members were lost in the tragedy.

• Eagle Scout Memorial — A short walk away from the USAF Medal of Honor memorial at Aloha Aina Park stands a small marker near a tree at the water’s edge. The plaque is dedicated to a USAF major and former Eagle Scout who drowned. Specifics are scarce, although the plaque lists the year 1997.

If you want to hunt for pieces of history yourself, a place to start is on one of the historical tours operated by MWR’s Information, Tickets & Travel office. A Hickam Historical Tour is every Friday, while a tour of Ford Island is held every Wednesday. Call the Hickam ITT office at 448-2295 for more information.

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Category: Life & Leisure