Jump to content


Photo

He watched the Pearl Harbor attack from horseback


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:57 PM

Aloha Everyone,

 

Just came from the service, remembrance and funeral of our Uncle Charlie, 94 year old WWII veteran.  He was buried at Diamond Head Cemetery, Fort Ruger, with an Army honor guard in attendance.  He was not a 'Pearl Harbor Survivor', but he did have a tale to tell having witnessed the attack from his saddle while herding cattle as a 17 year old Paniolo (Cowboy).  Charlie was born and raised on Oahu, the last of nine children.  He loved horses and his cows, riding and roping in the island rodeos, and dreamed of being a Paniolo for the rest of his days but on that Sunday morning the Japanese came to our Island home and changed his life forever.

 

In 1942 when he was eighteen he volunteered to be a civilian worker with the Air Corps, becoming an Aviation Mechanic on Ford Island servicing bombers, fighters and patrol planes as they were routed from the mainland to the Pacific ocean areas.  He continued this work until early 1945 when his draft notice arrived ordering him to report to Schofield Barracks.  Upon arrival, they looked at his work record and evaluations, and asked him if he knew how to salute.  Satisfied with his answer, they issued him an Army uniform, and the newly minted Private was told to report back to work at Ford Island as an Army Aviation Mechanic where he remained until discharged in 1947.

 

After his discharge, he was hired by the Navy at Pearl Harbor as a Federal Firefighter and served for 35 years at Pearl, some of that time at the firehouse right next to my Salvage ships at Alpha Docks.  Thus the Paniolo changed his beloved steed for a fire engine and he was very proud of his driving skills as they protected the Naval Base and the Shipyard for decades.

 

Uncle Charley was a wonderful guy and I loved that man for many more reasons than I've shared here.

 

Once he told me a story about the Japanese prisoners held on Ford Island.  The officer in charge of them was complaining that they were unruly and constantly causing a ruckus, threatening to riot.  Uncle Charlie asked for permission to speak.  Granted this, he simply suggested that the garrison stop giving them GI chow including potatoes at each meal, and instead give them rice......

 

Such a simple and obvious solution brought peace to the prison compound.

 

Fair winds and following seas Charlie.

Attached Images

  • Diamond Head 001a.jpg
  • Diamond Head 002a.jpg
  • Diamond Head 002b.jpg


#2 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:04 PM

Oahu Paniolo 1941

Attached Images

  • Paniolo 000b.png
  • Paniolo 001a.png


#3 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:05 PM

Civilian Aviation Mechanic 1943 Ford Island

Attached Images

  • Aircraft Mechanic.png


#4 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:08 PM

US Army Aviation Mechanic, Ford Island 1945

Attached Images

  • US Army 1945 b.png


#5 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:11 PM

US Navy Federal Fireman 

Attached Images

  • USN 1945 Federal Firefighter 001v.png
  • USN 1945 Federal Firefighter 002b.png


#6 tarbridge

tarbridge

    CHIEF MODERATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 123
  • 14,604 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fayetteville,N.C.

Posted 07 June 2018 - 09:16 PM

RIP...a nice remembrance.

#7 Garandomatic

Garandomatic
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,670
  • 6,191 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 June 2018 - 03:56 AM

What a cool story to start the day with.

#8 skypilot6670

skypilot6670
  • Members
    • Member ID: 137,056
  • 417 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fla.

Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:49 AM

May he Rest In Peace . Mike

#9 BEAST

BEAST
  • Members
    • Member ID: 203
  • 9,869 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:INDIANA

Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:55 AM

Very nice tribute. May he Rest in Peace.

#10 doyler

doyler
  • Members
    • Member ID: 342
  • 32,572 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Under The Bridge

Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:12 AM

Thanks for posting his story and remembrance.

Condolences to the family.

#11 KASTAUFFER

KASTAUFFER

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 105
  • 11,872 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:27 AM

Great story. Thanks for posting this tribute.

I was just in Hawaii last week preparing Ray for a trip to the mainland. He is 97 this year.

Kurt

#12 Thor996

Thor996
  • Members
    • Member ID: 30,395
  • 2,489 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North of the Mason Dixon

Posted 08 June 2018 - 04:05 PM

So very sorry to hear of your loss. May God comfort you always.

 

dave



#13 m1ashooter

m1ashooter
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,672
  • 2,627 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kingwood Texas

Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:03 PM

Great story and thanks for sharing him with us.



#14 Salvage Sailor

Salvage Sailor

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 2,322
  • 8,961 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii

Posted 05 December 2018 - 01:44 PM

This will be the first time he'll miss the remembrance ceremony of the attack



#15 Garandomatic

Garandomatic
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,670
  • 6,191 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2018 - 04:33 PM

Here's to him. I might tip a Miller high life for the Pearl Harbor vet I once knew.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users