Airfields in Hawaii - before and after WWII

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by N4521U, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,629
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    reduced to all around slobbing
    Location:
    Miranda, NSW
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,594
    Likes Received:
    289
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I posted this link quite some time ago.

    I still check it out from time to time.
     
  3. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    #3 daveT, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
    I have a lot of information concerning abandoned aifields on Oahu. I lived there for 25 years and researched most of them. I have photos from the past and present and some stories too. If you are looking for more specific info feel free to contact me.
    By the end of World War II the Army had built 37 miles of runways, 32 miles of taxiways, 2.7 million square yards of aircraft parking, and 470 aircraft bunkers in Hawaii. What remains today of this huge amount of construction? Abandoned airfields dot the landscape of this island waiting to be explored. Each airfield has an interesting story to tell. I have focused my research on airfields that are currently abandoned and had a colorful history. I have researched seven different airfields including Haleiwa Fighter Strip, Bellows AFS, Ewa MCAS, Kahuku Army Airfield/Kuilima Air Park, Kualoa Airfield, Waieli Gulch Field and Kipapa Field. All these airfields served during World War II playing an important part in the defense of Hawaii and served to further the growth of aviation in the islands. Archaeological surveys were conducted at each site. Both public and official government sources were accessed for archival research.
    DaveTrojan
     
  4. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    For more info on military airfields of Hawaii with focus on the lesser known and inactive fields. text material is excerpted from authoritative publications with permission from the authors. see this link:
    Airfields of Hawaii
     
  5. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    #5 RabidAlien, Mar 12, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
    Dang. I was stationed at Pearl for 3.5 years, and have driven past most of these sites numerous times. I even helped a friend muck out one of the horse stalls at the Eva field location, INSIDE on of the concrete revetments!!!! When we first got to Pearl, the crew of my sub was mostly stationed on Ford Island, and I used to go jogging around the perimeter of the island when not on duty, past the hangars that are now part of the museum, past the amphib piers, etc. Heck, when I was there, the hangars that are part of the museum were used for long-term vehicle storage for those who needed a place to put their cars while on deployment. Oh, how I wish I could go back to that time, with the knowledge/interest in history that I have now...

    DaveT's linked site doesn't mention Dillingham Field, on the north-west shore of Oahu. Its now used for gliders and skydiving, but was in active Army use during WW2 and launched some P-40's which put up a decent showing, shooting down some Japanese aircraft during the Dec 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dillingham_Airfield While stationed at Pearl, I heard rumors of several wrecks in the fields/forests on the plateau above some of the beaches at Kaena Point (west-south-west corner of the island), but never got around to trying to find them. I did find the remains of a bomber which crashed into the mountain when the pilot picked the wrong pass to fly through during a cloudy day after taking off from Hickham Field. It was just off the Old Pali Highway. We started from the Pali Lookout, walked down the road a bit to the left-hand hairpin turn (there's a small stream that comes down at that point). We started up the hillside, following that stream, and found several old pumps/motors left there from the wreckage. Eventually we came to a small (~15-foot) waterfall, which we free-climbed, a small field of weeds, and discovered a portion of the wing nearly buried in the weeds. After that, it was all vertical to the top of the ridge, a hair-raising scramble along the knife-edge ridge to an ancient Hawaiian "fort" (basically, a square notch cut out of the ridge where defending tribesmen could throw rocks down at attackers) and nearly vertical down the other side, back to the parkinglot of the Pali Lookout. This was back in 1996, so I have no idea if anything still remains of the plane, nor have I ever been able to find anything out about the plane. Might be an interesting research project, although I don't recommend continuing the climb that we did for anyone who's (a) not insane or (b) not uncomfortable with heights.
     
  6. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    This is the B-17 crash site you visited

    Two US military patrol aircraft crashed within hours of each other in the dark stormy skies of Oahu this night.

    The other aircraft was a Navy PBY-5A out of NAS Kaneohe. That crash was commemorated last year on the 64th anniversary of the crash. The night of 4/5/42 claimed 19 US aviators.

    This US particular Army air Corps B-17E arrived in Hawaii on 18 Dec 41, 11 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It crashed into the cliffs of Mt. Keahiakahoe near the Nu'uanu Pali less than 4 months later on Easter Sunday, 5 April 1942. This crash occurred only a few hours later than the PBY-5A that crashed at Makapu'u on the same evening. We have thus far, been unable to find detailed accounts of the investigation, other than a brief narrative and the names and ranks of the crew members.

    According to a July 2006 account by Mr. Robert Gaskill, a 42nd bomb Squadron member at the time, and who was the roommate of Lt. Bushee the bombardier of the aircraft; The aircraft was on a combat patrol looking for the Japanese submarine that was reportedly refueling a seaplane that had recently dropped bombs on Mt. Tantalus near Honolulu .

    Unexploded 500 lb bombs rolled down the ravine of the site approximately 30 years after the crash during a flash flood. Unconfirmed reports relate that some of the wreckage was dragged down from the site in the mid 90s.

    This site should only be visited by very experienced climbers as it is very steep in places with evidence of frequent landslides, making the approach extremely dangerous, possibly life threatening.

    During the first week of February 2007, two nephews of SSGT Mathias Donart, in Honolulu for the NFL Pro Bowl, asked to be shown the site of the accident. They had contacted us at the HAPS website via an internet search of Donart's name and had contacted us in late 2006.

    HAPS received the necessary government permissions placed a granite crew memorial at the Pali Lookout on April 1, 2007. The dedication ceremony was performed by USAF personnel from Hickam AFB on the 65th anniversary, April 5, 2007. at 10:00am at the Nu'uanu pali Lookout.


    Speaking at the ceremony was Colonel Stan Osserman, commander of the 154th Mission Support Group, Hickam AFB, and the invocation and blessing was done by Chaplain Michael Weber, LtCol, also of Hickam. Also in attendance from Hickam was Dr. Tim Keck, Command Historian of the Pacific Air Forces and Senior Historian Steve Diamond, also of PACAF. News coverage of the event was provided by KHNL Channel 8 TV Click to view TV news report of Leland Kim

    and the Honolulu Star Bulletin article.

    According to the State Parks Division over 1.1 million people visit this park annually. If only a small percentage of them stop to reflect on these aviator's ultimate sacrifice, we will have served our purpose...

    Link to more info

    This B-17E arrived in Hawaii on
     
  7. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,896
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    semi-retired professor retired USNR
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    Does anyone know if there were any outlying fields established on Molokai?
     
  8. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    No outlying fields on Molokai.
    They had a NAS on Maui and some fields on Hawaii, and Barking Sands on Kauai, but none on Molokai that I know of
     
  9. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Molokai's WWII airfield was known as "Homestead Field" a joint civilian-military field located at the Hawaiian Homesteads in Hoolehua. the Navy also occupied a small portion of the field as an auxiliary landing strip of Naval Air Station Puunene on Maui.

    Other WWII military airfields included the following:

    Kauai: Barking Sands AAB and Burns Field at Port Alllen.
    Maui: NAS Maui which became NAS Puunene, and NAS Kahului.
    Hawaii: Gen. Lyman Field, Hilo also NAS Hilo; Bordelon Field (USMC) at Kamuela; Suiter Field at Upolu Pt. also a NAAF for NAS Hilo, and Morse Field at S. Point.

    Kaneoheboy
     
  10. kettbo

    kettbo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    US Army (Ret)
    Location:
    Western Washington, USA
    #10 kettbo, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
    What air strip on Kauai is used for a dragstrip, 4th of JULY?
    Think not Port Allen but South shore, for sure no Barking sands
    wiki to the rescue!

    Kekaha Beach... Mana Dragstrip on an abandoned runway.
    Old Military airstrip?
    Any info from you guys out there in the Islands?
     
  11. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I Googled "Kauai Dragstrip" and found the Kauai Raceway located on the southwest between the town of Kekaha and the Pacific Missile Range (Barking Sands), It appears they use an old airstrip located close to a Naional Guard Firing Rance.

    The dragstrip on Maui is the Maui Raceway situated on a portion of the old NAS Puunene.

    Kaneoheboy
     
  12. kettbo

    kettbo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    US Army (Ret)
    Location:
    Western Washington, USA
    Gotcha, same strip I am talking about.
    Now the question, was this a Military strip? Emergency type deal? Any history you turn up would be cool
    Thanks in advance
     
  13. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The airstrip measures some 4,360 x 50 feet using "Google earth" and has a parallel taxiway that runs the length of the runway. It iis located east of the Hawaii National Guard firing range, in turn between the Pacific Missile Range Facility [PMRF] (ex-Barking Sands Air Base, ex-Bonham AFB). Both the land occcupied by the dragstrip and firing range are owned by the State of Hawaii's Dept. of Defense and, Dept. of Land and Natural Resources,

    The probability that the former airstrip now occupied iin portion by the "Kauai Raceway" being former military is great, given its proximity to the PMRF (539 yards). It could have been an emergency or fighter aircraft field.

    Kaneoheboy
     
  14. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
  15. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The mystery is solved regarding the dragstrip at Kekaha, Kauai. I have been in contact with Bill Turk, past-president of Kauai Raceway Park who informed me that the dragstrip was purpose built, and not an airfield. The strip from start to finish is 1320 feet with a shutdown area of 2700 feet and a staging area of some 3000 feet, which matches my estimate of the total length of 4300 feet using "Google earth."

    I think the dragstrip's close proximity to the old Barking Sands Air Base aka Bonham Air Force Base aka Pacific Missile Range Facility gives it the appearance of being ex-military.

    Kaneioheboy
     
  16. daveT

    daveT Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Aviation Archaeologist
    Location:
    Travis AFB California
    Home Page:
    I always believed that the dragstrip was made from in part of remains from the WWII airfield
     
  17. Kaneoheboy

    Kaneoheboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I'm inclined to aagree withyou, the beach looks like it may have held defensive structures likepillboxes.
     
Loading...

Share This Page