WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument 

 WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument 

1845 Wasp BLVD, #176 

Honolulu, HI 96818 


National Park Service News Release 

National Park Service 

U.S. Department of the Interior 

Date: October 29, 2018 

USS Arizona Memorial dock completion expected in March 2019 

HONOLULU – The National Park Service (NPS) expects the USS Arizona Memorial dock repair project to be complete by March 2019, allowing visitor access to the memorial to resume. 

The design phase of the project was recently completed, allowing for the development of a more precise timeline for the repair process. Unfortunately, it will not be completed in time for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7. Since May, the NPS has worked with its partners in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to ensure repairs are made as quickly as possible with special consideration given to the national significance of the site. 

“Not being able to welcome survivors and their families on the USS Arizona Memorial this coming December 7th is heartbreaking,” said Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, who oversees the memorial. “After exploring multiple options, we are working with our friends in the U.S. Navy to hold an intimate ceremony aboard a vessel adjacent to the USS Arizona. The Navy has been our partner every step of the way, and I could not be more grateful for their support.” 

The boat-based ceremony will include a floral tribute and will also allow survivors, their families, and other key dignitaries to pay their respects to the fallen at the USS Arizona. This special ceremony will be in addition to the full land-based commemoration ceremony. 

Access to the USS Arizona Memorial was suspended on May 6 when minor damage to the exterior of the structure became visible at the main point of entry. A more thorough examination revealed that the damage was caused by a failure of the visitor loading dock anchoring system. This placed extreme pressure on the loading bridge that provides overwater passage for visitors from the loading dock to the USS Arizona Memorial. Access was curtailed immediately to ensure visitor safety and prevent additional damage to the memorial. 

Ashwell also stated, “We are committed to restoring access to the memorial as soon as possible for all visitors, and it will remain a top priority across the board for this site and the National Park Service. We have condensed this project to the shortest amount of time necessary while also implementing solutions that will ensure a similar problem does not occur again. We appreciate the public’s continued patience as we work to complete the process and reinstitute access to the USS Arizona Memorial.” 

While the repair process continues, visitors will continue to see a 25-minute documentary film followed by a harbor tour of Battleship Row on U.S. Navy vessels which pass as close as possible to the USS Arizona Memorial. The NPS will continue to provide live or recorded commentary in an effort to maximize the visitor experience. Reservations are encouraged, as tickets for these programs continue to be fully distributed each day. 

All other amenities at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center remain open and accessible. Visitors are encouraged to visit our two free museums, shore side exhibits, snack shop and bookstore. Our partners at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum remain open and ready to welcome visitors. 


For more information, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/valr and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ValorNPS or contact: 

The X-47B is a drone!! Interesting!

The X-47B is a drone!!  Interesting! – Click here

Please  read the commentary before watching the video.

U. S. Navy  successfully conducted take-offs and landings from a fairly new nuclear  aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, with a new stealth jet  called the X-47B.
What is so different about this plane is the fact that it is a ‘drone.’  Yes, it is  completely unmanned.  Drones come in all sizes, and the X-47B is likely one  of the larger ones.
What is so ironic about all of this is the fact that the enemy  cannot detect a plane like this in the first place.   In the  unlikely event they get lucky at shooting one down, there will be no  human loss of life or captivity.  As you view the flight deck crews  signaling the plane, they are simply signaling the on-board cameras,  which in turn are being manned by staff inside the Command Intelligence Center (CIC) onboard the ship.

US Navy SBD Crash Site Photos



The famous photo, see attached, shows the crash site of a

US Navy SBD with two crew members and also the crash of

a Japanese Aichi Val dive bomber with two crew members.

The two planes crashed next to each other because they

were tightly engaged and one apparently struck the other,

with no altitude to bail out, killing all four in both planes.


The US Navy air crew were recovered later, however an

Army patrol buried the badly burned Japanese air crew in

an unmarked grave near the crash site and the location was

lost due to the rough coral terrain. They are still there- PO2c

Koreyoshi Sotoyama, pilot and radioman, Flyer 1c Hajime Murao.


The crash site itself was also lost as decades later a golf course

was constructed on the property after presumably all of the visible

crash wreckage had been removed by the military.


Using documents, maps, air photos, etc obtained from National

Archives, I have been able to locate the crash area again as seen in

the photo, which is near to the main golf country club

building. In 1941 the area was a thick forest of Kiawe trees.


This action was the largest air battle of the Pearl Harbor attack which

actually took place over what is today known as Ewa, Oahu, near

One’ula Beach.  Army P-40B Warhawks shot down Japanese Aichi

Vals while Japanese Zero’s engaged several US Navy SBD’s over

the shoreline and what is today a golf course. Amazingly, one of the

most famous photos of this air battle and resulting crashes was

captured by an Army photographer in a passing B-17 attempting to

land at Hickam Field.


We believe that there should be a monument-marker placed

there that describes this historic December 7, 1941 air battle and the

names of the American and Japanese killed there in the crashes.

I believe funds could be raised from US Veteran groups and in

Japan for this marker-monument, with coordination by the US National

Park Service.


I know that people in Japan that I have been in contact with

would also appreciate that Japanese pilots killed there that

morning would also be remembered, which we hope will happen




John Bond,

Ewa Battlefield Historian


AI-211aviationart1 Aichi-Vals RobertTaylor

Cairo The War Dog

When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a highly publicized but very private meeting with the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name:  Cairo, the war dog.

Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALS, is a Belgian Malinois.  The Malinois breed is similar to German Sheperds but smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 30-kilo range.

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USS Sable and USS Wolverine …

Interesting stuff!!

The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry. However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could. But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)? We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story! Thanks to Tom Ursem for sending this link!

Check this out! USS Sable and USS Wolverine> CLICK HERE