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Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in At TMV, History, Military, Places, Travel | 9 comments

Military Weekend 3

Hawaii aerial by Preston

The islands of Hawai’i are one of America’s favorite vacation destinations.

They are also some of our most strategic national security assets and home to the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), a command whose area of responsibility covers about half the earth’s surface, from the shores of California and Alaska to India, from Antarctica to the North Pole.

A command that boasts approximately 360,000 military and civilian personnel and approximately 200 ships — including five aircraft carrier strike groups — and nearly 600 aircraft.

The tragic yet historic event on that “date which will live in infamy;” the many reminders of that date; the key role the islands played during the rest of World War II in the Pacific; the many military facilities and the presence of military personnel make it virtually impossible not to notice, remember and honor Hawaii’s history, memorials and military presence while enjoying the islands’ unmatched natural beauty and its people’s superb charm, friendliness and hospitality.

Here are some images of all of the above. But first one indelible historic image:

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona

The USS Arizona burns after being hit by a Japanese bomb while U.S. sailors aboard the neighboring USS Tennessee spray fire hoses to force burning oil away from their ship during the air attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives collection.)

USS Arizona by David

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, marking the final resting place of 1,103 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. Many survivors have elected to have their ashes interred within the wreck. (Photo: David de Wind)

Arizona memorial wall

The marble walls in the Memorial that bear the names of all those killed on the Arizona.(Photo: Carol de Wind)

Arizona turret

Oil continues to seep to the surface from the sunken battleship and is often referred to as the “tears of the Arizona”. (Photo: Carol de Wind)


The torpedo room of the USS Bowfin, a Balao-class submarine with nine patrols in the Pacific during World War II and many sunken enemy vessels to her credit, now on display and open to public tours at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Photo by author)

USS Missouri

The Battleship Missouri, or “Mighty Mo,” was commissioned in June 1944 and docked at Pearl Harbor in 1999. It is upon its deck, while in Tokyo Bay, where the Japanese surrendered to the United States. The “pairing” of the Missouri and the Arizona has become “an evocative symbol of the beginning and end of the United States’ participation in the war.” (Photo: Carol de Wind)

With 30 miles of beautiful beaches on the island of Oahu alone, what does one do for the military and their families on a summer weekend?

Bellows beach

Beaches at Bellows Air Force Station, Oahu, Hawaii. (Photo by author’s grandson)

Throw a beachside picnic for 1500 military members and their families of course, as PACOM did this weekend on the beautiful beaches of Bellows Air Force Station, a 1,570-acre paradise within a paradise with miles and miles of pristine beaches tucked away on the Windward side of Oahu.


Complete with a band (Photo by author)


Demonstrations of military working dogs in action. (Photo by author)


And all the trimmings…

Thank you for your service and Aloha to all military personnel in “paradise.”

Hawaii orchid

(Photo: Carol de Wind)

Lead photo of Oahu’s coast line by author’s grandson

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  • The_Ohioan

    Worked with a lady one time who’s husband had been stationed in Hawaii. She said she’d never go back; the wind never stops and it drove her crazy. I’d be willing to chance it. 🙂

    • DdW

      Actually it is the nice breezes that made the heat somewhat bearable in the middle of July.. But I can see how these trade winds could bother some.

  • KP

    Thanks, Dorian.

    I love it when you tell story.

    • DdW

      Mahalo nui loa, Kevin.

  • JSpencer

    Good post Dorian. Japan discovered just how much they woke the sleeping giant only six months later. Paybacks are hell…

    • DdW

      Thanks, JS.

      One of the things that struck me is the number of Japanese –both young and old — visiting the USS Arizona and other reminders of that dastardly attack. I frequently wondered what was going through their thoughts. If anyone has come across articles addressing the subject, I would be interested in reading them.

      I would think it is a mixture of remorse and sadness, perhaps even shame . Don’t know…

  • KP

    Dorian, in case you missed this; the video is of the last remaining flying Boeing B-29 Super Fortress in the world as it lands in Phoenix on it’s way to Michigan.


    • DdW

      WOW! The Superfortress is/was such a magnificent aircrat. Thank you so much for posting this.

      • KP

        Glad you enjoyed those. I keep watching and tryng to imagine the bouncing inside; the creeking noises, the loud props and smells.

        Quite a soft landing!

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