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Hickam quiet on this Dec. 7
Air Force Links ^ | Dec 7, 2005 | Tech. Sgt. Shane Cuomo

Posted on 12/07/2005 4:42:37 PM PST by SandRat

12/7/2005 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- The Pacific Air Forces headquarters building -- and this base -- is quiet today, the 64th anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

But on Dec. 7, 1941, it was a major target during the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field that drew the United States into World War II.

The base held a ceremony that started at 7:55 a.m. -- the precise time the Japanese attack began -- to commemorate the more than 2,400 people who died that day. The ceremony was held at the main base flag pole.

During the ceremony a flight of F-15 Eagles from the 154th Wing of the Hawaii Air National Guard flew a missing man formation over the ceremony.

Col. William Changose, the 15th Airlift Wing commander, and Sen. Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii -- a World War II veteran -- were at the ceremony.

“What began as a quiet Sunday morning across the island -- and at Hickam, Bellows and Wheeler air fields -- suddenly changed as Japanese Airmen seeking air superiority over the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific region rained fire down on the sleepy unsuspecting island,” the colonel said at the ceremony.

More than 350 aircraft attacked the island from their aircraft carriers bases.

“What the Japanese didn’t realize was that their bold attack, as we all know, awakened a sleeping giant,” the colonel said.

During the attack, a tidal wave of courage and determination called brave men and women into action throughout the island, Colonel Changose said.

“Men and women stood strong while under attack in the face of danger and devastation,” he said.

The bombing and strafing of Hickam was an important Japanese objective because the success of the attack on the Pacific Fleet depended on eliminating air opposition. And while the attack was demoralizing -- it nearly knocked out the Pacific Fleet -- the U.S. military soon took the fight to the Japanese.

The attack came as a total surprise to the troops then stationed at Hickam Field and living in what is now the PACAF headquarters building.

One year after the building was completed -- while troops slept or ate breakfast -- several bombs crashed through the roof. They killed practically everyone on the top floor. The dining hall took a direct hit from a 500-pound bomb, instantly killing 35 men.

In all, Hickam suffered extensive property damage, aircraft losses and casualties totaling 189 killed and 303 wounded.

Evidence of the attack is hard to find today. And the base’s well-groomed and sedate appearance hides the fact it is the headquarters for U.S. military might in the Pacific.

Today Airmen work in the many areas of the headquarters. But in 1941 it was a barracks housing 3,200 enlisted men. Named Hale Makai -- Hawaiian for “home by the sea” -- it had all the facilities needed for convenience. It had two barber shops, a laundry and tailor shop, a post exchange, medical dispensary, day rooms and a huge consolidated “chow hall.”

The people who work there do not always think of the history behind their workplace.

“Every day as I walk into the building, I see the bomb-damaged exterior. I can’t help but think about those who lost their lives while serving here,” said Tech. Sgt. Martin Jackson, who works in the command’s public affairs office.

“To think that 64 years ago today such a world-changing event happened right here where I work,” the sergeant said. “It is truly an honor to work in such an historic building.”

In 1985 the National Park Service designated the headquarters, and a few other buildings on Hickam, as historic landmarks.

Today, those buildings house a new breed of Airmen. They are locked in a battle, too -- the war on terrorism. And like their predecessors, they have a key mission to maintain peace in the Pacific and around the world.

But they do not forget the past -- the bullet and shrapnel holes are still visible on buildings.

“The holes remain as a reminder of the attack and the need to stay ever vigilant,” said wing historian Steve Diamond.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Japan; US: Hawaii
KEYWORDS: 7th; airfield; anniversary; attack; dec; harbor; hawaii; hickam; japan; pearl; pearlharbor; quiet; this; wwii

1 posted on 12/07/2005 4:42:38 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Remember Pearl Harbor!!!


2 posted on 12/07/2005 4:43:05 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: zot

ping


3 posted on 12/07/2005 4:44:29 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead)
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To: SandRat
“We are not just the beneficiaries of their bravery; we are the stewards of their sacrifice.”
4 posted on 12/07/2005 4:45:27 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: SandRat
"What the Japanese didn’t realize was that their bold attack, as we all know, awakened a sleeping giant"

And back then the sleeping giant had enough sense and selflessness to stay awake. Never forget.

5 posted on 12/07/2005 5:04:59 PM PST by lizma
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To: SandRat
“Every day as I walk into the building, I see the bomb-damaged exterior. I can’t help but think about those who lost their lives while serving here,” said Tech. Sgt. Martin Jackson, who works in the command’s public affairs office.

I've been to that headquarters building. The large divots in the solid concrete exterior caused by the Japanese machine-guns are very impressive. It looked to me like some of the bullets actually penetrated all the way through. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in the building and getting strafed like that.

6 posted on 12/07/2005 5:13:04 PM PST by John Jorsett (scam never sleeps)
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To: SandRat

I am royally hacked that there apparently is not ONE good old war movie on TV today.


7 posted on 12/07/2005 5:15:20 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin

Now I'm going to have to get off FR and check out the situation here. By the same token I have The Longest Day, The Green Berets, Midway, A Bridge Too Far, The Devils Brigade, and The Battle of Britain all on VCR.


8 posted on 12/07/2005 5:19:16 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Oh, good idea; I'll go see what I have, but I don't think it compares to those!


9 posted on 12/07/2005 5:24:23 PM PST by Howlin
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To: SandRat

Today I read a list of names of those who died there.
I went to the space that would have recorded the name of a precious Uncle and thanked God for His grace and protection.

That war cost us heavily but at least he was spared the opening volley.


10 posted on 12/07/2005 6:33:40 PM PST by Spirited
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To: SandRat; Northern Yankee; Victoria Delsoul

Dec. 7th BUMP!


11 posted on 12/07/2005 6:41:29 PM PST by kstewskis
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To: SandRat; All
“It was a typical Sunday morning breakfast, for the first weekend after payday.”
12 posted on 12/07/2005 6:44:36 PM PST by dighton
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To: Howlin

PATTON was on.


13 posted on 12/07/2005 6:45:34 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

And I missed it.


14 posted on 12/07/2005 6:47:49 PM PST by Howlin
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To: SandRat


15 posted on 12/07/2005 7:57:26 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: SandRat

I have had the TV on in the background while working almost all day today, and not one mention of Pearl Harbor. You would think the History channel would have something on.


16 posted on 12/07/2005 8:01:06 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: operation clinton cleanup

oops.. looking back at the TV schedule, I guess they did.


17 posted on 12/07/2005 8:03:22 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping. We must never forget Pearl Harbor, lest we be that unprepared again.


18 posted on 12/07/2005 10:49:37 PM PST by zot (GWB -- four more years!)
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To: SandRat

BTT


19 posted on 12/08/2005 3:05:35 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SandRat

December 7 is always a good day for "Tora, Tora, Tora" with emphasis on the very last line in the movie.


20 posted on 12/08/2005 3:09:53 AM PST by RushLake (Baghdad minus saddam hussein = Detroit)
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To: SandRat

I was stationed at Ford Island in 1979-1982 and 1983-1984. The buildings still had the bullet and shrapnel scars, and the patched bomb craters were very evident. We thought about 7 December 1941 on a regular basis.


21 posted on 12/08/2005 3:13:36 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: Squantos

Just watched this, thought you and the boys might like it.
short wmv.

#10 The Browning Automatic Rifle.

www.redstararms.com/B.A.R..wmv


22 posted on 12/09/2005 5:00:05 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Squantos

You'll like this one too.

http://www.redstararms.com/number%206%20ak.wmv


23 posted on 12/09/2005 5:12:14 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

Just got done building my first one, a polish underfolder.


24 posted on 12/09/2005 5:13:27 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

http://www.redstararms.com/B.A.R..wmv


They'll take a while I'm on a blackberry in the boonies right now.....:o)

Slow download.


25 posted on 12/09/2005 5:19:33 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: tet68

The Hitler Channels ...Tale of the Gun.... is one of my favorite shows.

I'd forgot about Commando Kelly......kewl stuff, downloading the other wmv now....


26 posted on 12/09/2005 6:07:29 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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