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Husband and Wife Pearl Harbor Survivors Grouping


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#1 Rakkasan187

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:36 PM

This is one of those once in a lifetime chance groupings. A few years ago I went to an estate sale for a retired General. The woman who puts these estate sales on has been calling me for years informing me of upcoming sales I may be interested in. Well by chance I was off duty on this particular day, so I decided to go. A friend of mine who also collects militaria was also going to the sale. I got there as early as I though reasonable but was still 10th in line. When it was my turn to go in, I asked where the military items were, and they said "all over the house" Great, this is a huge house so I am bound to get some items and lose out on others. So off I went finding odds and ends in just about every single room and closet. If there were uniforms, I didn't see any. The majority of the items were paper. The sale was for a retired General by the name of Hardaway. He was the past Commander of William Beaumont Hospital at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas. There were tons of papers, documants, orders, certificates, photos, etc. I rummage through what seemed like hundreds of boxes and had a mountain of papers. The advantage of knowing someone on the inside is that I did not have to carry this stuff all over the house, I put it in a back room that was closed to the public and continued my search. I next went to the jewelry cases and baskets of trinkets and what nots. Well there were several loose ribbons and some rank, so I scooped it all up and added it to the pile. Meanwhile my friend was also doing quite well. He was able to get the Generals 1 Star Flag, which I didn't see until 1 year later, he brought it to the Denver ASMIC convention, and unfortuantely it was purchased by someone looking for items for the Medical Museum at Fort Sam Houston. So the flag slipped through my fingers. "Missed it by that much" as agent Maxwell Smart would say. So we got talking about what we found at the estate and I told him I found a pair of strange looking wings in the $1.00 basket. No markings but I picked them up. He said he also found a pair of wings and I was able to convince him to give them to me. The wings were 2 inch and 3 inch wings with the letters WARD in the center. I had never heard such an acronym, and internet searches came up blank. Well I started to read through the Generals papers and I started to read a first hand report about the attack on Pearl Harbor, written by the General. He and his wife Lee Hardaway, reported to Hawaii in October 1941, and he was a Lieutenant being assigned on a Battalion Staff in the Medical Section. On Sunday Dec 7, 1941 he was on duty and received some of the first casualties from the attack. He described in his report the incredible trauma and burns that he witnessed. He was at the hospital for 2 straight weeks after the attack. After the attack a lot of the civilains and families were evacuated, but Mrs Hardaway was able to stay with her husband. She volunteered to become a member of the Womens Air Raid Defense Service (WARD) from 1 February 1942 thru 23 January 1943. The wings were awarded after so many hours operating switchboards or observing aircraft in the fields, and radioing back to headquarters the type, altitude, direction etc. If planes did not match up on the grids at HQ, the Air Corps would scramble fighters to intercept. So now I knew what WARD meant and a further search on the internet introduced me to the book SHUFFLEBOARD PILOTS: The History of the Women's Air Raid Defense in Hawaii 1941-1945, by Candace A Chenoweth and A. Kam Napier. . This book illustrated the history of the WARDS and better showed pictures of the wings that came in 2 sizes, one size for the over the breast and the other a hat pin size. At the back of the book is a listing of all the WARDS and Lee Hardaway is listed.
Fast Forward to this past month. I received another phone call from the estate sale woman telling me of another sale with lots of military items. Off I go, and I got there later than I wanted so a lot of military items were gone, Helmets, uniforms, etc. Not to be deterred I went to the paper items again and found several hundred pictures. These happened to be more pictures from the Generals Estate sale from 3 years prior!!!! Apparently they did not sell everything the first time and it was combined with another sale. So I got more photgraphs of the General and the hospital at Pearl Harbor, and from his travels to Vietnam, to visit the hospitals there. (This will be part 2 of the grouping that I will post some other time). Well looking through more papers I find the 2 most important pieces of paper to tie Lee Hardaway to the wings and Pearl Harbor. 1st a full length photo of lee in her uniform wearing the wings and second a Certificate of Service from the 7th Fighter Command, signed by General Robert W. Douglas, Commanding General.
The research continues on this grouping, I have over 500 pieces of paper, orders, certificates, papers written by the General on various medical procedures in the field and about 300 photos of Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, his promotions to General, Etc. This will be an ongoing project. Unfortunately I could not save the Generals Flag, but the majority of the documents have remained intact.

The moral of this story is two fold.
1. If you know someone who deals with estate sales, get in touch with them, express your interest in collecting the military items, and ask if you could keep the items together in a group. It may cost more, but it will guarantee that all the items will be kept together. Remember, most of these people who do estate sales see it as making money. If they can get more for each individual item they will break up a collection. It;s just the way things happen
2. If the grouping has been split up. as in this particular case, you never know if more items may surface again in the future. I just about gave up on the WARD wings, but just this past month I found a certificate, a picture and that closes the chapter on this part of the story. So keep looking, you may find more items surface a few years after the initial sale. Keep calling the estate sale people. Remember, they are interested in making money.

Now that everyone is asleep from this story, its time for some pictures. The pictures are of both size wings. There are no markings on the wings and given the amount made, I would suspect that these were made locally in Hawaii. On the large set of wings Lee scratched her name into the back and you can just make it out in the pictures. Sorry for the poor quality. The other picture is of her in uniform, again the quality is not the best, and the certificate showing her service. There is also a picture of the cover of the book and Lee's name listed in the roster. She was a member of the Oahu unit. Enjoy the pictures and I look forward to your comments. I will have more information and pictures of General Hardaways items at a later date.

Leigh....

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#2 Rakkasan187

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:41 PM

Here are some more pictures:

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#3 Rakkasan187

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

More pictures....

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#4 notinfringed

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

great research and awsome story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Beautiful wings as well.
Levi

#5 Rakkasan187

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:48 PM

last picture....

Enjoy this grouping....

Leigh...

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#6 cutiger83

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:07 PM

Leigh,

This story and the wings are amazing. I have never heard the name of the WARD. I will definitely have to check out the book about the WARD.

I remember one of the John Wayne WWII movies where he goes to an outpost to tell a woman that her husband is MIA. The woman has binoculars and is relaying plane descriptions back to the base. Was she one of these in the WARD?

Thanks, Kat

#7 manayunkman

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:33 PM

Real cool posting. First I ever heard of these wings. Great to have all the documentation. Overall outstanding.

M

#8 Rakkasan187

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:51 AM

Kat,

Yes, the name of the movie was IN HARMS WAY and the woman at the outpost would have been a WARD. Good pick up. That movie had some big stars, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Patricia Neal, Burgess Meredith

Not sure if the book is still available or not, but try on AMAZON and you might find it. If not, let me know, I think I have 2 copies of the book.

Leigh..



Just an update on the General Hardaway grouping. I was able to get another photograph at William Beaumont Army Medical Center a few weeks ago. The picture is General Hardaway when he was Hospital commander from July 1970 to Aug 1975. I also received one of his named Army Commendation Medals and a color photo of his father General Robert Hardaway. I have several binders of the General's paperwork, awards, medical certificates, group and promotion photos that I will be posting on here in the next few weeks. Some very interesting items.

General Hardaway also wrote several trauma papers based on his experiences in Vietnam and he put these into an official briefing format. I was able to obtain his original notes and color pictures of the evac hospitals he went to observe medical procedures at in Vietnam. Some very neat photos.'

Leigh...

#9 Rakkasan187

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:20 AM

I wanted to bring this back up on the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl harbor.

 

Thank you General and Mrs. Hardaway for y our service to our nation.

 

Leigh



#10 Rakkasan187

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:53 AM

Bringing this back to the top for the 76th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor..

 

Thank you again for your service General and Mrs. Hardaway.

 

Lee Hardaway passed in 2013 and she is buried at Arlington National Cemetery

 

Rest in Peace Mrs. Hardaway.

 

Leigh




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