Wheeler Field among posts attacked, Dec. 7th, 1941

| December 2, 2016 | 0 Comments
Wheeler Field is one of several locations attacked early on Dec. 7th, 1941. (Courtesy photo)

Wheeler Field is one of several locations attacked early on Dec. 7th, 1941. (Courtesy photo)

Kenneth Hays
Directorate of Public Works
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — 2016 will mark the 75th year since the surprise attack on Oahu by the Empire of Japan on the 7th of December, 1941.

When the attack occurred, the media focused more on the site that received the greatest damage of the attack, Pearl Harbor.

To this day, most remember the date as the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, there were other sites on Oahu attacked that day, including Fort Shafter, the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe, Ewa Field, the Aloha Tower area, Schofield Barracks and here, at Wheeler Army Airfield.

This photo shows Wheeler Army Airfield's aviation history. (Photo by Ken Hays, Directorate of Public Works)

This photo shows Wheeler Army Airfield’s aviation history. (Photo by Ken Hays, Directorate of Public Works)

The new interpretive displays were designed and erected across the campus of Wheeler, this year, to commemorate the attack on Wheeler Field. The new displays, which are aviation themed, focus on the attack at Wheeler Field in 1941, and also on the design of the installation, as well as the great events that occurred, here, related to aviation history.

Each of the three displays allow the reader to learn about the different aspects of the remarkable history of Wheeler Army Airfield.

The displays are sited where they can allow the reader to see the parts of the installation that match the historic images and text.

The Dec. 7th, 1941, display is positioned where the famous photograph that was taken by a Japanese pilot during the attack can be matched up with the installation today to allow the reader to gain perspective and to see where most of the devastation occurred.

This photo shows Wheeler Army Airfield's developmental history. (Photo by Ken Hays, Directorate of Public Works)

This photo shows Wheeler Army Airfield’s developmental history. (Photo by Ken Hays, Directorate of Public Works)

The displays will assist in the interpretation of Wheeler during the 75th commemoration of the Japanese attack and will interpret the history for all those who live and work at Wheeler for years to come.

The displays were a joint effort of the Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Division, Cultural Resources, Kiewit Construction and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District.

(Editor’s note: Hays is the architectural historian at Environmental Division, DPW.) 

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