Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ewa Battlefield Nomination Approved November 13, 2015

Ewa Battlefield Nomination Approved November 13, 2015

      Hawaii State Review Board Voted For Nomination To State And National Register

Approximately every three minutes a memory of World War II – its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs – disappears. Yielding to the unalterable process of aging, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now mostly in their 90s. They are dying quickly – at the rate of approximately 492 a day, according to US Veterans Administration figures.


"This place is sacred ground to the United States Marines that died
there, to the Japanese aviators that perished and the civilian residents
of Ewa plantation."

"Remembering our solemn commitment to their memory is the promise
that is fulfilled at battlegrounds that are preserved and enshrined by
our nation."

Daniel A. Martinez, Chief Historian
WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument


Nearly everyone today knows the story of "Pearl Harbor" and what happened. But that story largely neglects what happened in West Oahu on the Ewa Plain. 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. Nearby Fort Barrette was also attacked by Japanese planes, killing one soldier and wounding others.

In addition there was fierce Ewa Plain air combat that saw five Japanese planes shot down and the still largely unrecognized story of 8 Navy SBD's from the USS Enterprise that were also shot down, 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.

Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park Programmatic Agreement 30 July 2012
[Amended and Restated]    Page 4 of 31

If determined eligible, the Navy will support nomination (by others) of the Ewa Field Battlefield to the National Register of Historic Places. Support will include providing technical assistance, review of draft nominations and supporting documents, research/documentation assistance, and access to all archival materials. The Navy Region Hawaii Historic Preservation Officer will forward the nomination to the Navy’s Federal Preservation Officer for review and action, pursuant to applicable sections of 36 CFR 60.

§ 60.9 Nominations by Federal agencies.
(d) After receiving the comments of the State Historic Preservation Officer, and chief elected local official, or if there has been no response within 45 days, the Federal Preservation Officer may approve the nomination and forward it to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.

Ewa Plain Battlefield nomination DOE already approved by the Navy and NPS in 2015

The Ewa Plain Battlefield nomination was an extensively researched and vetted final product of a $54,000 Federal NPS American Battlefield Protection Program grant awarded in 2012 to 501-c-3 Ewa Plain Programs which in turn contracted GAI Consultants, a major national cultural and environmental resource survey contractor with KOKOA battlefield analysis and documentation experience. The contract involved on site surface and sub-surface Ground Penetrating Radar survey, extensive historic records archive research, and delivering a complete NR Nomination.

The Navy as land owner reviewed the NPS ABPP funded GAI Consultants nomination product and signed a Determination of Eligibility (DOE) cover letter over the NPS-GAI nomination in November 2014 and sent it to the NPS Keeper of the Register. The Navy DOE submission was carefully reviewed by the NPS Keeper office in Washington, D.C., signed and accepted in February 2015.

The Navy agreed in a 2012 Programmatic Agreement to support the nomination of the Ewa Plain Battlefield to the National Historic Register. The Navy as land owner under Federal 36 CFR's can now send in a cover letter to the NPS Keeper accepting the NPS-GAI NR nomination, as per the Programmatic Agreement.


Honoring Major John A. Hughes, USMC (Ret.), Combat Pilot and Ewa Field – Pearl Harbor Attack Survivor

Ewa Field, the Forgotten Sacrifice Honored In West Oahu

2013 Ewa Battlefiel​d Commemorat​ion, Sunday Dec. 8, 2013

Draft Ewa Plains Battlefield Nomination And Photo Archive Available

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Great News! Ewa Field Battlefield Determination of Eligibility (DOE) by NPS

Ewa Field Battlefield Determination of Eligibility (DOE)

 by the National Park Service in Washington, DC

by John Bond    Ewa Field Historian
Everything within the green border (minus a few small parcels) has been
determined as eligible for a national battlefield nomination.

The entire 1941 Ewa Field, (also known as Ewa Mooring Mast Field, which was a Navy airship field built in 1925,) has been recognized by the National Park Service Keeper of the Register in Washington, DC as eligible for nomination as a National American Battlefield.

Ewa Field is a very rare intact 1941 airfield and battlefield site that was attacked on December 7, 1941 by Imperial Japanese naval air forces and has largely remained in 1941 condition. Even though it was expanded in 1942-45 into a much larger Marine Corps Air Station Ewa that trained top Marine ace fighter pilots, the runway layout and bullet marked concrete ramp remain as it was in 1941.

Fortunately after the base closed in 1952 it was brought into the base property management of the larger Naval Air Station Barbers Point and used as a recreational area with the addition of a golf course built over the 1944-45 taxiways. The Barbers Point Golf Course was carefully designed around the 1941 airfield, preserving it intact. A few then very Top Secret Cold War era buildings were also added by Ewa Gate on Roosevelt Road as adjuncts to the major Patrol Wing Two NAS Barbers Point Soviet submarine tracking mission.

The 89 year old airfield is now on track to become a future historic park as the
National Park Service determination provides important official recognition that Save Ewa Field
supporters have been waiting years for. The first Save Ewa Field Commemoration was held on December 7, 2007 when preservation looked very bleak. The DOE also helps preserve the Cold War era buildings at Ewa Field which could serve as museum and maintenance facilities.

These steps follow the original intent of the 2009 Hawaii State Legislature concurrent resolution HCR49 HD1 which urged the President of the United States, 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 many concerned individuals and veterans also supported this concurrent resolution. While taking five years to come to fruition, the people of Ewa West Oahu will finally be getting their historic heritage park.

Take a look at the “resume” of this very remarkable 89 year old airfield…

  • Ewa Mooring Mast Field, one of the very earliest aviation fields in Hawaii, constructed in 1925 as a then high technology US Navy airship port with a state-of-the-art 100 foot high steel tower and circular railway.
  • One of the very first military bases attacked on December 7, 1941 and remained under nearly continuous attack for approximately two hours due to the Japanese use of Ewa airspace as their key air attack staging objective.
  • Ewa Field was the site of major air battles involving Japanese planes, Navy SBD’s from USS Enterprise and P-40’s from Haleiwa air field. Unarmed civilian planes with off-duty Army soldiers were also shot down over Ewa.
  • Ewa Field Marines and aircraft which had just been placed on Wake Island were in the first frontline Pacific War land, sea and air battle fought by the United States. The first Medal of Honor in WW-II went to Ewa USMC pilot Capt. Henry Elrod.
  • Ewa Field USMC pilot Capt. Richard Fleming was the only Naval aviation pilot to receive the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Midway in 1942.
  • Recognized in resolutions passed by the Hawaii State Legislature and three local neighborhood Boards recommending preservation of Ewa battlefield as a National Landmark, Monument, park and museum site.
  • Ewa Field WW-II history spawned movies “Wake Island” and “Flying Leathernecks” and was a key Oahu set location for filming the classic “Tora, Tora, Tora” in 1969.
  • MCAS Ewa was visited by many famous military, political and historic figures, including  FDR, Adm. Nimitz, Gen. MacArthur, Adm. Halsey, Gen. Geiger, and was an F4U Corsair fighter aircraft training base for legendary aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh and baseball great Ted Williams.
  • MCAS Ewa was an aircraft training base for many legendary USMC fighter squadrons, ace fighter pilots and 12 Medal of Honor recipients.

Ewa Field-MCAS Ewa was the original first home of US Marine Corps aviation in the Pacific, a forward development base of key air support concepts and pivotal operational aviation airport used to win back the Pacific Islands from Imperial Japanese control.

  • Federally recognized, National Register eligible “Leina a ka ‘uhane” – native Hawaiian spirit leaping off place – a spiritual portal back to the ancient homeland of Tahiti. This “wahi pana” (sacred place) is the area where native souls enter the afterlife.
  • MCAS Ewa was the WW-II home base for many special US Marine Corps air units, medium bomber squadrons, air transport squadrons, Navy SeaBee Construction Battalions and Women’s Marine Reserve squadron.
  • MCAS Ewa was the aviation base for “China Marine” operations after WW-II and saw the very first USMC jet aircraft in the Pacific during the early Korean War before the base officially closed in 1952.
  • MCAS Ewa- as part of NAS Barbers Point  in the 1960’s, became home for US Navy Patrol Wing 2 and very important Cold War Era missions involving Far East coastal patrols, intelligence gathering and anti-submarine warfare. Buildings by the 1941 battlefield were also a base for advanced undersea Soviet submarine tracking (SOSUS), and some of the earliest post-Vietnam War POW-MIA recovery operations.
  • Ewa Field’s original front gate area, attacked by Japanese planes on December 7, 1941, is today owned by the Hawaiian Railway Society as part of its National Register 1890’s narrow gauge railway museum. Also by Ewa Field is historic State Registered Ewa Plantation Village, also attacked on December 7, 1941.

Ewa Field Commemoration - Saturday December 6, 2014

Ewa Plains Battlefield Nomination Document and Battlefield News Archive Available

89 Year Old Ewa Aviation Site, Battlefield and Top Secret 
Cold War Mission Control

Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum for Facility 972 - Barbers Point, Ewa-Kapolei, Hawaii

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ewa Field Commemoration - Saturday December 6, 2014

Ewa Field Commemoration - Saturday December 6, 2014

US Navy Mooring Mast Field  1925-1941

MCAS Ewa Field  1941-1952

Annex of Naval Air Station Barbers Point 1952-1999

Click Here For More John Bond 2014 Photos

Scroll Down for additional photos by photographers Jon Launer and Jacque Martin

A very beautiful and perfect morning for the 7th Annual historic Save Ewa Field Commemoration

Kapolei HS Marine Corps JROTC raise the American flag over Ewa Field

Pacific Air Force Honor Guard await their ceremonial entrance

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point provided a ceremonial event fly-over with MH-65

Pacific Fleet Band plays at former MCAS Ewa - NAS Barbers Point - the first time in many decades.

Ewa Field veteran John Hughes with Pearl Harbor veteran Ray Emory

The Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy provided event support

Tom Schmidt, Ray Emory, Mo Radke, Daniel Martinez and John Hughes

The Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association provided a classic WW-II jeep

Jon Launer captures some of the many Ewa Field ramp bullet strafing marks

29th Brigade deputy commander Col. Toy checks out a WW-II era Army uniform

Pacific Air Force Honor Guard provided three volley rifle salute

The Pacific Fleet Band prepares to play the National Anthem

Gunny Ron Schaedel bought out his flags for the Kapolei HS MC JROTC to present at the ceremony

The Pacific Fleet Band provided commemoration theme music before and after the Ewa event

Oahu Civil Air Patrol cadets, Naval Sea cadets and NGYCA cadets also attended 

LCDR Don Rogers, Chaplain from Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Mo Radke, USN Ret. provided Master of Ceremonies support at the historic Ewa Field event

John Hughes and his family attend this now 7th annual Ewa Field Commemoration

WW-II Valor in the Pacific National Monument historian Daniel Martinez

Pearl Harbor Historian Emeritus Ray Emory was on the USS Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941

Ewa Field veteran John Hughes, USMC Ret. describes the Imperial Japanese Navy air attack

US Navy veteran and 7 year Vietnam POW Jerry Coffee remembers living on the base

Ewa Village attack veteran Simon Nasario, USA Ret also attended with his daughter

The Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association provided a classic WW-II jeep

Below: Jacque Martin Photos

Kapolei HS Marine Corps JROTC prepare to raise the American flag over Ewa Field

Ewa Field veteran John Hughes, USMC Ret. describes the Imperial Japanese Navy air attack

                  Historian and Navy veteran Ray Emory wowed the crowd with astonishing Dec. 7 details

50 Cal. bullet shell casing fired on December 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor Historian Emeritus Ray Emory was on the USS Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point provided a ceremonial event fly-over with MH-65

Pacific Air Force Honor Guard provided a three volley rifle salute

John Hughes speaks with another Ewa veteran about the old days

Above: Jacque Martin Photos

Ewa Plains Battlefield Nomination Document and Battlefield News Archive Available

Previous MCAS Ewa and Battlefield Blog Posts Can Be Found On These Links: