Sunday, June 14, 2015

Navy Barbers Point Golf Course Intended As Commemoration Of MCAS Ewa Field History


Navy Barbers Point Golf Course Intended As A 

Commemoration Of MCAS Ewa Field History





President Roosevelt, General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz visit MCAS Ewa 1944




David and Myrna Junk at Barbers Point Stables, 2011

Some important historic background on historic MCAS Ewa and 

the Navy's Barbers Point Golf Course

By John Bond  Ewa Historian

The Barbers Point Golf Course is speaking to Consideration F used in evaluating properties for nomination to the National Register: (f) A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own exceptional significance;





The Navy Barbers Point Golf Course, first nine holes, were designed as an historic preservation concept, which was confirmed in a 2011 interview with LCDR Wynn Junk's son David Junk. The BP golf course design was to create a recreational memorialization of historic MCAS Ewa sites, including 1941 Ewa Field.

The entire original 1941 Ewa Field runway with the construction of the golf driving range and first nine holes Barbers Point Golf Course carefully preserved historic features which actually made the course links less than ideal but intended as an historic experience for golfers.




In many cases golf course dirt was placed over the later 1942-45 runways rather than bulldozing them. This served to historically preserve them as well as saved a lot of bulldozing costs as the original construction was done by mostly volunteer laborers who worked when they were off duty.

At around the time the Barbers Point Golf Course was built, the original MCAS Ewa base commander's home had been turned into the golf course club house and golf shop. It was in this home that many famous aviators, including Charles Lindbergh, had dinner and drinks. Despite protests, the Navy had the historic building torn down for a new parking lot around 2005.


David Junk confirmed in an interview in 2011 at the Barbers Point Stables, where he had worked as a stable boy during the early 70's, that his father, who was the Barbers Point Special Services (MWR) officer in charge, that his father fully understood the importance of preserving MCAS Ewa historic sites and the 1941 battlefield runway site as his intention.

Other Barbers Point veteran sources have also confirmed that the first nine holes were an "in house" Navy Special Services project and that local NASBP base tenant commands were asked (required?) to supply "volunteers" to help construct the first nine fairways and greens.




The later second nine holes were done later and were away from the 1941 airfield. They were done by the then hired in-house golf course management working with a contractor. (I have interviewed the past and current Barbers Point Golf Course managers about the course history. I also have other email histories of Navy aircrews of Patrol Wing Two who describe the original golf course project.)

The later second nine hole addition to the golf course received more professional design attention but also preserved key areas of MCAS Ewa history, including the Headquarters area of General Roy Geiger, a USMC aviation pioneer and later commander of Fleet Marine Force Pacific. Also preserved was a runway directly in front of the former MCAS Ewa Officers Club, an historic Mooring Mast Field roadway and Site 5128, a Public Works area. 


*******************************************************************

Interview with David Junk

by John Bond,  Ewa Historian



David Junk was interviewed by Ewa historian John Bond on May 26, 2011 9:30 AM at Barbers Point Stables. He was accompanied by his wife Myrna Junk. Taking photos was Thomas Reese.

Major points about David Junk's father's role as director of the Special Services program at Naval Air Station Barbers point in the 1960's was confirmed, among them:

At the direction of LCDR Winfield Junk, USN Ret, the Barbers Point Golf Course was intentionally designed to incorporate the 1941 Ewa Airfield and later MCAS Ewa with the intention of preserving it as an MCAS Ewa memorial golf course and remembrance of the December 7, 1941 attack by the Naval Air Forces of the Japanese Empire.

Former MCAS Ewa Pride baseball field, still very actively used today by Ewa baseball teams and clubs, was named in honor of then retiring Admiral Alfred M. Pride, US Navy, who was the Captain of the U.S.S. Belleau Wood (CVL-24) during WW-II. 





 John Bond, Myrna Junk, David Junk at Barbers Point Stables, 2011


photos by Thomas Reese



Wynn Junk (top center) and Torpedo Squadron 21, USS Belleau Wood

LCDR Junk was in Torpedo Squadron 21 aboard the Belleau Wood where he was then a combat pilot and later awarded the Navy Cross, among other commendations. He is buried today at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Admiral Pride later became Commander, Air Forces, Pacific Fleet and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

These recreational areas were created by design as a reuse of former MCAS Ewa, which had been closed down in 1952 with Marine aviation transferred over to the present Kaneohe air base location.

David Junk worked at the Barbers Point Stables as a teenager when it was also the site of major local rodeo events which his father actively promoted with national rodeo stars. David later became a champion local rodeo star, steer wrestler and later retiring as a US military veteran. 

The Barbers Point Stables were ingeniously created as a reuse of historic WW-II Wildcat and Hellcat aircraft bunker revetments and still operates today as a quasi-military recreational horse stables.

The first nine holes were created entirely under the direction of “Cowboy Commander” Win Junk with local NAS Barbers Point volunteers from various squadrons under Navy Patrol Wing Two. Great care was taken to preserve the entire 1941 runway which was used for Special Services activities which included go cart races, model airplane flying and horseback riding. 




Ewa Field hangar blown up in 1969 for "Tora, Tora, Tora" action scene





 "Tora, Tora, Tora" scenes shot at former MCAS Ewa 1969


Unfortunately in 1969 the Navy allowed the very historic 1941 Ewa Field hangar, then used as a base gymnasium, to be blown up for a key action scene in the filming of “Tora, Tora, Tora.”  


The later second nine hole addition to the golf course also further preserved key areas of MCAS Ewa history, including the HQ and aircraft parking area of General Roy Geiger, a USMC aviation pioneer as well as National Register eligible site 5128 (public works facility) and "Sailor Road", the single remaining roadway that existed from the 1925 Ewa Navy Mooring Mast Field (Today called Gambier Bay for the WW-II Navy carrier USS Gambier Bay.)

It is also clear that in 1958 when the Cold War Facility 972 (Patrol Wing Two headquarters) was built that key December 7, 1941 sites were not disturbed or built over. The US Navy at that time had not thrown out their base history files allowing later Hawaii Navy real estate “amnesia” and the subsequent NavFac Pacific insider land deals. 

Previously the US Navy actually had a deep respect for their WW-II history and their bases. At Ewa Field US Marines died in combat and MCAS Ewa subsequently produced a large number of ace fighter pilots and Medal of Honor recipients during the WW-II Pacific Campaign.






Ewa Field hangar before it was blown up in 1969 for "Tora, Tora, Tora."



Winfield Higdon Junk  - buried at Punchbowl National Cemetery 



Winfield Higdon Junk Awards and Citations  Navy Cross Awarded for actions 
during the World War II 


The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant] Winfield Higdon Junk, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VT-21), attached to the U.S.S. BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Philippine Islands, on 19 and 25 October 1944. Leading four planes in a raid on enemy shipping in Manila Harbor on 19 October, against fierce enemy opposition, Lieutenant Commander Junk aided in the damaging of a large tanker and a cargo ship. Flying in low over his target in the face of severe anti-aircraft fire during the Battle for Leyte Gulf on 25 October, he pressed home a close-range attack against an enemy Task Force to score a direct and damaging hit on an aircraft carrier.

General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0852 (December 22, 1944)
Action Date: October 19 & 25, 1944, Company: Torpedo Squadron 21 (VT-21) Division: U.S.S. Belleau Wood (CVL-24). LCDR Junk was the 118th Navy Pilot to fly a jet and the FIRST Navy Jet Pilot to enter the Air Force's Test Pilot Program in Mojave, CA.

LCDR Winfield H. Junk, USN Retired "The Cowboy Commander"  May 28, 1920 - Dec 16, 1977
Wynn Junk and Torpedo Squadron 21, USS Belleau Wood
               
*The Wynn Junk Memorial Trophy*
Sponsored by the Hawaii Horse Show Association Established in 1978, this perpetual trophy is still in existence and awarded to the Western Performance Horse scoring the most points in Open Trail, Open Western Riding, and Open Stock Horse. After retiring from the Navy, Junk moved to the Windward side of Oahu where he spent many years managing barns, training, showing, announcing, and judging. He opened a Tack Shop in Kailua called "Wynn's" and was Vice President of Hawaii's Quarter Horse Association for many years.


1944-45 MCAS Ewa - the forward area all became Barbers Point Golf Course


Myrna Junk, David Junk and John Bond at Barbers Point Stables, 2011





Historic areas of MCAS Ewa preserved by Barbers Point Golf Course


CRITERIA CONSIDERATION F: COMMEMORATIVE PROPERTIES


A property primarily commemorative in intent can be eligible if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance.

Understanding Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties

Commemorative properties are designed or constructed after the occurrence of an important historic event or after the life of an important person. They are not directly associated with the event or with the person's productive life, but serve as evidence of a later generation's assessment of the past. Their significance comes from their value as cultural expressions at the date of their creation.

Therefore, a commemorative property generally must be over fifty years old and must possess significance based on its own value, not on the value of the event or person being memorialized.




Ewa’s Pride Field – Historic Open Recreational Space and Baseball Field



http://barbers-point.blogspot.com/2015/06/ewa-pride-field.html



Alfred Melville Pride, Pioneer Naval aviator and Captain of USS Belleau Wood, WW-II "Devil Dog" Aircraft Carrier



http://barbers-point.blogspot.com/2015/06/Admiral-Pride-USS-Belleau-Wood.html

Ewa’s Pride Field – Historic Open Recreational Space and Baseball Field

Ewa’s Pride Field – Historic Open Recreational Space

 and Baseball Field


By John M. Bond - Save Ewa’s Pride Field from developers.


An Ewa Community Resource for Sports and Baseball since the 1940’s

Pride Field goes back as an historic open space recreational area to 1941, when contractors working on the construction of the airfield show it as a professional size hardball field with two softball fields.



PRIDE FOR EWA -- Ewa’s PRIDE in Historic 

65 Year Old Pride Field


"An 'Ewa Beach team went up there and won. They won every single game (in the Little League World Series and the regional in San Bernardino)," she said, her eyes rimmed with tears. "The Lord is with us."


"I told you they was going make 'em," said the 67-year-old father of West O'ahu's head coach as he folded his hands across his cane. "Never give up. Play hard, work hard. I feel very proud."

Not everyone in Ewa West Oahu knows that their favorite Little League baseball field
actually has a sports history going back sixty five years. Nor do many even know HOW
Pride Field got its name. For them, the field is just a very important little league baseball area
that the City of Honolulu maintains since the closing on Barbers Point in 1999.

Many today also probably don’t know that Pride Field was an active Navy MWR (Morale-Welfare-Recreation) baseball field from the 1950’s to 1999. Even top Oahu rodeo events were held there before the Barbers Point stables and rodeo arena were built in the 1960’s-70’s.



The field was actually named for Admiral Alfred M. Pride, a US Navy carrier commander of the Belleau Wood. Pride was a brilliant naval aviator highly regarded by Navy and Marine pilots.

Before the Navy was there it was a US Marine air station called MCAS Ewa. The area was actually designated for baseball in early 1941 when Ewa Field was under construction, but because of the start of WW-II on December 7, 1941, the field was used for anti-aircraft machineguns, then as a general physical training area, including sports.

It was not actually laid out formally as a baseball field until around 1943-44, when the US Marines had a team called Fleet Marine Force – Hawaii (FMF Hawaii) that played the other Oahu service teams with very big name major leaguers recruited into the military during the war. One of the big baseball legends who played there was Marine pilot Ted Williams.



Without a doubt, historic Pride Field must be saved from developers and placed on the National Historic Register for its illustrious 65 year history as an Ewa open space sports field- and remain in use for Ewa’s current and future Little Leaguers to use forever. This is about local community history and PRIDE FOR EWA.



Pride Field – Historic Open Recreational Space and Baseball Field


One cannot possibly over-estimate the importance of baseball in the 1940’s. Not only the national sport, it was avidly followed by nearly everyone in America. During WW-II people suspected of being enemy spies were often grilled on how well they knew team leagues and baseball player stats. This was because any TRUE American knew all these stats, dates and player histories. Hawaii during WW-II enjoyed an especially huge baseball following because many major league players were drafted into the military specifically to play baseball during the war for morale and public relations, and many wound up in the islands on military teams. Major national baseball stars could seen locally at Honolulu Stadium and major Army and Navy sports fields.

Pride Field goes back as an historic open space recreational area to 1941, when contractors working on the construction of the airfield show it as a professional size hardball field with two softball fields.

This location originally made sense as there was also a major Rec-Gym building and swimming pool planned nearby- but airfield operational needs required moving its location over to its present Pride Field location.

Once the war started, Ewa Field grew rapidly and became Marine Corps Air Station Ewa- a huge military base for Marine fighters, bombers and transports supporting the Pacific Island invasion campaigns.

MCAS Ewa also became the headquarters for Fleet Marine Force Pacific- which was the forerunner of today’s MARFORPAC headquarters at Camp H.M. Smith. Accordingly, there was a Fleet Marine Force baseball team which played the nearby Navy Barbers Point ―Pointers‖, as well as the other Pearl Harbor and Army teams from Schofield, Wheeler, etc.

Next to Baseball, Rodeo at MCAS Ewa was also a popular sport

A 1948 map of MCAS Ewa shows the Fleet Marine Force Pacific baseball field with a professional hardball diamond and a smaller softball diamond. The square fenced in area by the baseball diamond is likely a rodeo horse corral.

Rodeo was also a major popular national American attraction and this was also the case during the war when many rodeo stars also entered the military. One particular rodeo legend was Fritz Truan, a national bronc riding champion who was stationed in Hawaii as a Marine and participated in many local rodeo and military rodeo events. He very likely also participated in events at the Pride Field arena as well during 1943-44.

Fritz Truan was later killed in combat during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. The popularity of rodeo and horseback riding continued after the war and resulted in the establishment of the large rodeo and horse stable facilities at the MCAS Ewa WW-II aircraft revetments area, which has been recommended, in 1997, to become an historic district.

Baseball Legend Ted Williams played at MCAS Ewa Field

Baseball Legend Ted Williams – was a fighter pilot at MCAS Ewa in 1945 and played for the
Fleet Marine Force Pacific baseball team at what is today known as Pride Field. When the
Navy took over the Marine base they renamed all the roads and facilities, including the baseball field in honor of Admiral Pride.

Ted Williams was stationed at MCAS Ewa during the end of the war, flying Corsairs, in 1945.
Williams played for the MCAS Ewa team called Fleet Marine Force Pacific when the base
was still a huge WW-II base of Pacific operations. What became known as Pride Field was
a big professional-sized field then. After December 7, 1941, the field had anti-aircraft machine
guns installed into dug-in foxholes to protect the airfield. Later Army anti-aircraft units arrived
to guard Ewa Field and the baseball field went back to being a sports field.



MCAS EWA in 1948. The full sized baseball field is seen in the background, in this view taken
from the control tower. Note that there are full size hard ball and softball diamonds.

Pride Field name is established when Navy takes over former MCAS Ewa

PRIDE FIELD 14th Naval District Fast Pitch Leagues, 1970’s Pride baseball field is today maintained by the City and County of Oahu Parks Department under a license from Hunt Corp., which stated it’s eventual intention to remove the baseball field and commercially develop the site.

Built during WW-II, the field has seen continuous use in 65 years of history. Anti-aircraft machine gun positions were dug in around the playing field after the Pearl Harbor attack, and it was also used by the nearby Marine barracks for physical training and field day inspections of unit uniforms and equipment.

In 2005 the Ewa Beach baseball team won the Little League World Series. Today, developers want to bulldoze this historic Ewa West Oahu Community field.



*****************************************************************************

August 11, 2010 “Trying To Save A Historic Ball Field”
By Senator Bob Hogue – Hawaii MidWeek


There’s an old ball field in Ewa that is suddenly much talked about. The field, now used by Little Leaguers, dates back to World War II when historian John Bond says legendary
Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams played there.

―Ted Williams was here at the end of the war, flying Corsairs,‖ Bond says. ―He played for different base teams around the country during his time as a pilot. He played for a team here called Fleet Marine Force Pacific in Ewa when the base was huge, massive in 1945. It was a big professional-sized field then.

The Ewa teams played their games at Pride Field, known as Mooring Mast Field in the WWII era. Several other major leaguers, including Joe DiMaggio and PeeWee Reese, were in different branches of the service then and played on other Oahu teams.

Williams, a Navy Marine pilot known by baseball fans as the Splendid Splinter, who was the last player to hit over .400 when he batted .406 in 1941, reportedly spent nearly all of the time when he wasn’t flying playing baseball. ―He was obsessed with baseball. He would have me pitch to him every chance he got,‖ wrote a former serviceman in a published account.



―There was no other field here (in Ewa),  he says. ―Back then, baseball was really big for everyone. Massive crowds came out to see these teams play. Major Leaguers like Williams were the rock stars of their day. Everybody would turn out to watch them.

One of those who watched the games was Theo ―Porky‖ Belic, now 80, who remembers when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7. ―They flew right over our camp and we saw them strafe the field. We saw all kinds of smoke. It made our hair stand up,  Belic recalls.

As a teenager, Belic remembers going to see U.S. servicemen play.

―We used to watch all the games, he says. ―They were really good.

Folks like Bond and others are concerned about the future of Pride Field. They’ve started a group that calls itself Save Ewa Field. The property was recently turned over by the Navy to Hunt Development Group, which leases the land with plans to eventually buy and develop parts of it.

He fears the Navy and Hunt Corporation could throw West Oahu Little League teams off historic 65-year-old Pride Field.

―Ted Williams was a legend when I was growing up,‖ he says. ―I want to point out that
the field was a key part of the history of the base here. It’s one of the oldest ball fields in
West Oahu. I just want to make people aware of that.

Historic 65 year old PRIDE Little League baseball field, where baseball legends like Ted Williams once played with other famous baseball players in WW-II military leagues. This is a major Little League Tournament field. The Ewa Beach team won the 1995 Little League World Series.

Hunt Corp has stated that their plan is to shutdown PRIDE FIELD and bulldoze this 65 year old community sports field.

The Ewa-West Oahu Community needs to preserve this open space sports fields that belongs on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

*****************************************************************************

August 29, 2005 “Memea's heroic homer boosts Hawai'i pride”
By Rod Ohira and Peter Boylan Advertiser Staff Writers



http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/Aug/29/ln/FP508290366.html

The boys from 'Ewa Beach and Waipahu, all 11- and 12-year-olds, put a state on their collective shoulders yesterday and represented it with pride and grit. As Michael Memea nailed his game-winning homer in the bottom of the seventh and teammates waited at home plate to embrace him, thousands of people around O'ahu — and millions more watched worldwide — celebrated the wild victory.

"We all blue-collar workers," said Darwin Nazarino, a 28-year-old preschool teacher who was watching the game on TV at a party. "We love our sports, it gets us through. It (the victory) brings the community and the families together. It gives a little bit hope that wherever you from, whatever you do, if you work hard, it can happen."

Terry Memea, a first-grade teacher at Holomua Elementary School in 'Ewa and former professional hula dancer, said when her son hit the ball, "I sat down and cried. He was struggling for three games. I thought, 'OK, there's no outs and Vonn (Fe'ao) and Quentin (Guevara) are coming up so if he could just get on base.' When I heard it, I knew it was gone. The sound was so sweet."

Herbert Aliviado, left, and Kia Hale celebrate West O'ahu's victory in the Little League World Series at Aliviado's home in 'Ewa Beach. The win was especially sweet for Aliviado, the father of West O'ahu's head coach and grandfather of the team's first baseman.

*************************************************************

Hawaii's Ewa Beach Wins Little League World Series


It has been a dream season for a bunch of boys who live and play baseball just a few miles from my home here on Oahu.

Hawaii is very proud of her boys from Ewa Beach. The coaches and parents have been "class acts" and have shown the world that the word "aloha" can be used in the same sentence as "World Champions!"

West Oahu Team Wins Little League World Series
http://www.kitv.com/sports/4907589/detail.html


July 26, 2007 Little League Majors State Tournament final
By Kyle Sakamoto Honolulu Advertiser


Games Played on Historic Pride Field

It came down to power yesterday for Waipi'o in the Little League Majors State Tournament championship game.

The Majors (ages 11-12) is the oldest Little League division, starting in 1939 with its first World Series in 1947.

In 2005, West O'ahu became the first team from Hawai'i to win the World Series.

"Seeing these kids swing the bat, with the wind and the fence (205 feet) being so close ... on our team we have about eight guys (who can hit homer runs)," Waipi'o coach Timo Donahue said.

"Being there once already it gave us an outlook on what it's like to be out there; living conditions and so forth, what to expect," Timo Donahue said.


Navy Barbers Point Golf Course Intended As Commemoration Of MCAS Ewa Field History



http://barbers-point.blogspot.com/2015/06/navy-barbers-point-golf-course.html


Alfred Melville Pride, Pioneer Naval aviator and Captain of USS Belleau Wood, WW-II "Devil Dog" Aircraft Carrier


http://barbers-point.blogspot.com/2015/06/Admiral-Pride-USS-Belleau-Wood.html

Alfred Melville Pride, Pioneer Naval aviator and Captain of USS Belleau Wood, WW-II "Devil Dog" Aircraft Carrier

Alfred Melville Pride, Captain of USS Belleau Wood,
WW-II "Devil Dog" Aircraft Carrier

Why Ewa's very popular "pride" baseball field is named for a US Navy admiral

by John Bond Ewa Historian - additional research through naval archives


Pride Field was named such when MCAS Ewa closed in 1952 and became under the Navy as Naval Air Station Barbers Point. It may have had a name when Marine aviator and baseball legend Ted Williams played there in 1945 but it is unknown.

However the naming of the baseball field after Alfred Pride is very fitting once you learn the remarkable history behind him and the USS Belleau Wood. It is also quite possible Admiral Pride attended the naming ceremony and perhaps threw out the first game pitch as he was winding up incredible Navy career in Hawaii at the time.

Admiral Pride was a very famous pioneer naval aviator, aircraft-carrier commander and Seventh Fleet Commander during the early Cold War era. NAS Barbers Point was the major supporting Pacific airbase and Pride was then Commander, Air Forces, Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

The naming is also very likely due to LCDR Wynn Junk, who was then the Barbers Point Special Services director (now known as MWR), who during WW-II was stationed on and had flown aircraft from the USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) when Alfred Pride was the carrier commander. Belleau Wood saw major Pacific war combat and was directly involved in air support of Marine beach landings.

The USS Belleau Wood was named for a famous WW-I US Marine battlefield and Capt. Pride was highly regarded by aviators under his command during WW-II. So by the 1960's honoring Admiral Pride with a popular baseball field seemed like a perfect commemoration by everyone. The NAS Barbers Point side also had a baseball field called "Pointer Field."

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Alfred Melville Pride (1897 - December 24, 1988) pioneer Naval aviator and USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) The ship's mascot was the US Marine Corp's "Devil Dog" and participated in some of the heaviest air combat of the Pacific Islands war. The USS Belleau Wood received the Presidential Unit Citation and 12 battle stars during World War II.


Pride's career was remarkable for its time, in that he achieved flag rank without having attended the United States Naval Academy or even completing college.



Admiral Pride on the cover of Time magazine as 7th Fleet commander, late 1950's.


Naval aviators of Torpedo Squadron 21 of the USS Belleau Wood


Top center, LCDR Wynn Junk who retired to become 
NAS Barbers Point Special Services officer.


Capt. Alfred Pride, Commanding Officer, USS Belleau Wood

Alfred Melville Pride (1897 - December 24, 1988) was a United States Navy admiral and pioneer Naval aviator, who distinguished himself during World War II as an aircraft-carrier commander.

He served during the late 1940s as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics and during the Korean War as Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Pride's career was remarkable for its time, in that he achieved flag rank without having attended the United States Naval Academy or even completing college. (He did, however, later complete advanced studies in aeronautical engineering.)

A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, he studied engineering at Tufts University in Boston for several years before dropping out to enlist in the Navy during World War I. He served first as a machinist's mate in the Naval Reserve, but was soon given the chance to receive flight training and gain a commission as an ensign. Pride was sent to France, where he served briefly during the latter part of the war.

In 1921 he transferred to the regular Navy and served on the battleship USS Arizona. In 1922 he served on the USS Langley, a converted coaling ship that became the Navy's first aircraft carrier, and in 1922 he was one of the first pilots to land an aircraft on the USS Langley. He also took part in the fitting out of the aircraft carriers USS Saratoga and USS Lexington, as a member of their original crews. While serving on the USS Langley he devised an arresting gear to prevent landing aircraft from going over the end of the deck. Impressed with his inventive genius, the US Navy sent him to study aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Pride continued his work in Naval Aviation testing for the rest of the interwar period. He went on to study aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1931, he became the first person to land a helicopter on an aircraft carrier. From 1934-1936 he headed the Flight Test Section at Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C., at that time the Navy's center for aircraft testing.

 While there, an aircraft he was piloting crashed and he was severely injured and the doctors wanted to amputate his left leg but he refused. The injury left him with a permanent limp, but he resumed flying. After the US entry into World War II, he served at the rank of captain as the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood in the South Pacific, conducting air strikes against the Japanese in the major campaigns from Tarawa, Wake and Makin Islands to Kwajalein, Truk, Saipan and Tinian. He was then promoted to the rank of rear admiral and became Commandant, 14th Naval District, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then transferring to Fleet jobs, including command of Carrier Division 6 and Carrier Division 4.

He returned to the Pacific in 1953, when he received promotion to Vice Admiral and command of the U.S. Seventh Fleet (December 1, 1953 - December 19, 1955). During this time, he was featured on the cover of the Time magazine (February 7, 1955 issue). Pride served as head of the Seventh Fleet until 1956, when he became Commander, Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.

In 1961 he was retroactively designated the ninth recipient of the Gray Eagle Award, as the most senior active naval aviator from July 1959 until his retirement later that year. His other honors include being a Companion of the Naval Order of the US and a member of the National Museum of Naval Aviation's Hall of Honor.

USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24)


Belleau Wood received the Presidential Unit Citation and 12 battle stars 
during World War II.

The ship was named in memory of the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood, in which Marines of the American Expeditionary Forces, defeated the German troops after nearly four weeks of intense fighting. According to United States Marine Corps lore, the German defenders referred to them as Teufelshunde (literally, "Devil Dog") and it was this moniker that became the ship's mascot, and one of the nicknames for US Marines (Devil Dog).

Originally laid down as the Cleveland-class light cruiser New Haven (CL-76), she was finished as an aircraft carrier. Reclassified CV-24 on 16 February 1942 and renamed Belleau Wood on 31 March 1942 in honor of the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I, she was launched on 6 December 1942 by New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Holcomb, wife of the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and commissioned on 31 March 1943, Captain A. M. Pride in command. During the war, she was reclassified CVL-24 on 15 July 1943.

After a brief shakedown cruise, Belleau Wood reported to the Pacific Fleet, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 26 July 1943. After supporting the occupation of Baker Island (1 September) and taking part in the Tarawa (18 September) and Wake Island (5–6 October) raids, she joined TF 50 for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands (19 November–4 December 1943).

Belleau Wood operated with TF 58 during the seizure of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, Marshall Islands (29 January–3 February 1944), Truk raid (16–17 February); Saipan-Tinian-Rota-Guam raids (21–22 February); Palau-Yap-Ulithi-Woleai raid (30 March–1 April); Sawar and Wakde Island raids in support of the landings at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), New Guinea (22–24 April); Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid (29 April–1 May); occupation of Saipan (11–24 June), 1st Bonins raid (15–16 June), Battle of the Philippine Sea (19–20 June); and 2nd Bonins raid (24 June). During the Battle Of the Philippine Sea, Belleau Wood‍ '​s planes sank the Japanese carrier Hiyō.

After an overhaul at Pearl Harbor (29 June–31 July 1944), Belleau Wood rejoined TF 58 for the last stages of the occupation of Guam (2–10 August). She joined TF 38 and took part in the strikes in support of the occupation of the southern Palaus (6 September–14 October); Philippine Islands raids (9–24 September); Morotai landings (15 September); Okinawa raid (10 October); northern Luzon and Formosa raids (11–14 October); Luzon strikes (15 and 17 October–19 October), and the Battle of Cape Engaño (24–26 October). On 30 October, while Belleau Wood was patrolling with her task group east of Leyte, she shot down a Japanese kamikaze plane which fell on her flight deck aft, causing fires which set off ammunition. Before the fire could be brought under control, 92 men had either died or gone missing.

After temporary repairs at Ulithi (2–11 November), Belleau Wood steamed to Hunters Point, California, for permanent repairs and an overhaul, arriving on 29 November. She departed San Francisco Bay on 20 January 1945 and joined TF 58 at Ulithi on 7 February. From 15 February–4 March, she took part in the raids on Honshū Island, Japan, and the Nansei Shoto, as well as supporting the landings on Iwo Jima. She also took part in the 5th Fleet strikes against Japan (17 March–26 May) and the 3rd Fleet strikes (27 May–11 June). After embarking Air Group 31 at Leyte (13 June–1 July), she rejoined the 3rd Fleet for the final strikes against the Japanese home islands (10 July–15 August). The last Japanese aircraft shot down in the war was a Yokosuka D4Y3 "Judy" dive bomber which was shot down by Clarence "Bill" A. Moore, an F6F pilot of "The Flying Meat-Axe" VF-31 from Belleau Wood.[1]

Belleau Wood launched her planes on 2 September for the mass flight over Tokyo, Japan, during the surrender ceremonies. She remained in Japanese waters until 13 October. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 28 October, she departed three days later with 1,248 servicemen for San Diego. She remained on "Magic Carpet" duty, returning servicemen from Guam and Saipan to San Diego, until 31 January 1946. During the next year, Belleau Wood was moored at various docks in the San Francisco area, undergoing inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Alameda Naval Air Station on 13 January 1947.



David Junk, son of Wynn Junk, and his wife Myrna discuss the history of how the NAS Barbers Point golf course, stables and baseball field came about in the 1960's 
with Ewa historian John Bond.




Navy Barbers Point Golf Course Intended As Commemoration Of MCAS Ewa Field History


http://barbers-point.blogspot.com/2015/06/navy-barbers-point-golf-course.html

Ewa’s Pride Field – Historic Open Recreational Space and Baseball Field




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kalaeloa Fires, Vandalism Plague Former Barbers Point Navy Base, But Some Don't Notice

Three brush fires in Kalaeloa latest in string of suspicious blazes
 
Honolulu Star-Advertiser  Oct 15, 2013
 
 
Fire investigators are looking into three brush fires that they believe may have been intentionally set Monday morning within 90 minutes in Kalaeloa.
 
  
Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman, said today's incidents are the latest in a string of 20 suspicious fires at Kalaeloa since the beginning of the month.
 
 
The largest fire covered about a half acre and was reported at 10:05 a.m. at Tripoli and White Plains Beach road. Two fire companies, two tankers and a federal firefighting company responded. It took fire crews nearly two hours to extinguish the blaze.
 
 
Firefighters were first summoned at 8:52 a.m. to Saratoga and Franklin avenues to extinguish a smaller blaze. It took one company of firefighters half hour to put out that fire.
 
 
At 9:36 a.m. another small fire was reported at Hornet and Saratoga avenues, where firefighters extinguished it in 50 minutes.
 
 
Seelig said over the past two to three months these small brush fires at Kalaeloa have become frequent, appearing clusters like they did Monday morning.
 
 

Fires, Vandalism Plague Former Barbers Point Navy Base


By William Cole Oct 15, 2013 Honolulu Star-Advertiser
 
There have been 20 brush and rubbish fires this month. Dozens of power poles have been felled by metal scavengers. Residents report manhole covers being taken. One observer says the word is out that security is lax and the area is "wide open."
 
 
Sections of the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station are returning to the "wild, wild West" vandalism and lawless days that followed the base closing in 1999, a local historian and preservationist charges.


Some residents and officials agree with that assessment by Ewa Beach's John Bond, while others do not, as the old 3,700-acre military base continues to occupy an awkward place between the ongoing departure of the Navy and redevelopment somewhere down the road.

 
 
A case in point: State Sen. Mike Gabbard said he rents the former base commander's home from developer Hunt Cos., which is a lessee and owner of 538 acres of former Navy land where a spate of fires and vandalism has occurred.


The single-story, four-bedroom, two-bath house on Franklin Avenue with a large white anchor and chain out front has a large, well-kept yard dotted with flowering plumeria and big shade trees.



But across the street is a house with big holes in the walls in a yard of knee-high dry weeds flanked by a huge dead tree.

Gabbard, who said he pays "market value" rent for his home and has lived in the former commander's quarters and another residence on base since 2004, has not seen a growing vandalism trend.


"Not really," Gabbard said. "I think it's actually better than it was in the old days when we first moved in."


Bond says that through the years, "many very fine former Navy buildings — homes, barracks, clubs, etc. — were smashed, looted and graffitied in every way possible."

That deterioration has continued in the historic officer homes neighborhood where Gabbard is a resident, with holes cut in some roofs for firefighter training — allowing rain to enter, Bond said.



 
Seelig said his understanding is that a Florida-based company was allowed to put on a firefighting training workshop using some of the homes. The Honolulu Fire Department did not participate, he said.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said there have been 20 calls for rubbish or brush fires in the Kalaeloa area this month, with three such fires reported on former base property on Monday alone.



The majority appear to have been intentionally set, Seelig said.

The fires have been small, burning a few dozen square feet to more than an acre at a time.







Coincidently, all of these highly concentrated fires being set are all within the same area around and within the historic WW-II homes community, and also coincidently, where HCDA plans a major highway and rail transit line project. Having large canopy trees and historic homes decimated and destroyed creates the "eyesore" effect so necessary to then bring in the bulldozers...
 

Kalaeloa fires trigger arson concerns


By Jim Mendoza   Hawaii News Now   Sep 17, 2013

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/23459021/kalaeloa-fires-trigger-arson-concerns
           
Ash on the ground and scorched tree limbs litter an acre in Kalaeloa where a brushfire recently burned.

"The disturbing thing is that the fire was quite intense and went up into the trees and burned a lot of these large trees. We're hoping they'll survive," Ewa Beach resident John Bond said.

He said over the past two months brushfires have popped up in several spots in Kalaeloa on property leased by developer Hunt Hawaii.

One recent blaze burned near the corner of Hornet Street and Saratoga Avenue, about a block from Barbers Point Elementary School. The entire area was once part of Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
 

 


 
 

 

Authorities investigate Kalaeloa vandalism

HAWAII NEWS NOW   Oct 16, 2013
 
           
Honolulu authorities are trying to determine if an arsonist is behind several fire in Kalaeloa.

Earlier this week, firefighters responded to three fires within an hour of each other in the same area. Officials with the Honolulu Fire Department say there have been 20 brush fires in Kalaeloa since the start of the October.

Fire department crews say they also put out multiple fires in August and September.
Investigators say there appears to be a pattern, and HFD is now working with the Honolulu Police Department to investigate the fires.