Ford Island visit
#1

Hello everyone,

Up until recently, I have never been to Hawaii for USMC business (or anything, for that matter). But last week, I had to go there for a conference at Pacific Command (PACOM) regarding the Joint Strike Fighter, aka the F-35. My stake in that (and by extension the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing's - or is it the other way around) is that to get something that transmits a radio signal used in Japan, it has to go through an evaluation process at Japan's Ministry of Interior Affairs and Communications (MIC). The guy who works the documents required for this (DD-1494s if you care) was the one coming to PACOM so I went to get in on the meeting and meet with him afterward. Maybe that's interesting and maybe it isn't, but while I was there, I got to go to Ford Island and visit the historic sites there. I must tell you it was a dream come true. Among the sites I saw were the USS Utah memorial, the USS Missouri, the USS Oklahoma memorial and the USS Arizona. I will post some pictures here but you can see them all at my Picasa site here.

 

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The Utah Memorial

 

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Better shot of what is left of the ship

 

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The Oklahoma memorial

 

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Markers for each man who died

 

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Mighty Mo!

 

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16" whoop-ass!

 

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Mind blowing 1/96th scale model now in the Ward Room

 

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In her WWII configuration

 

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The Combat Engagement Center - used in the movie Battleship

 

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The Marine Mount 5"

 

 

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#2

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Missourri from the Arizona Memorial

 

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The base of gun 3

 

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Remnants of gun 2

 

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The memorial

 

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The long list of names. The ones that look like planters in the lower that look like planters are the names of men who have been interned in the ship in the last 30 years or so.

 

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The seeping Arizona oil

 

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#3

Todd, I envy you in the visit you were able to make and the sites you saw. To me it is history I only get to see on tv from time to time. You got some great pics too!

As an aside, my son works for BAE here on the the JSF.

 

Colin.

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#4

Yes, thanks for sharing with me via email and now hear. Great that you could do this with your family.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#5

Well, unfortunately it was not with my family. As this was a TAD (TDY in Army lingo) trip, it was just me. I would gladly go back with them, be it aint cheap - which is why I had never been there before.

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#6

Ah, well yes, it is Hawaii and nothing is cheap. Well at least you got to visit!

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#7

Great pics CaptO! The family and I are going there Dec 5th-12th can't hardly wait! Thanks for sharing.

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#8

While I love seeing all the pics of your overseas deployment, I will be even happier when you return to the states Todd. One day I hope to see you at one of our reunions, again. Till that day... :14_2_107:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#9

Thanks all. Going to Ford Island was awesome but I do regret not getting to the air museum out there. If you are not military you can't just drive over in your car like I did (the only way to see the Utah memorial). For the battleship you take a bus I think and the Arizona you get to on the ferry. Good thing you didn't get there when that hospital ship hit it and closed tours!

 

As for my current whereabouts on the globe, I am currently in Pattya, Thailand. I had been in Bangkok until yesterday when we bused down to Utaphao air field (near Pattya). Our flight was cancelled and we expected to leave today on a Air Force C-40. As it is, they only had room for 27 of the 50 of us, so I don't leave until Thursday. READY TO GET HOME. Maybe if I was a unmarried young-en, it would be awesome, but I'm not either!! Incidentally, here are some shots of Bangkok (things I found interesting).

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Crazy wiring of Thailand

 

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And the crazy wiring is even tied off to the pedestrian overpass.

 

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Ronald McDonald doing a Wai.

 

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The C-130 that should have taken us home.

 

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Big Props

 

More here.

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#10

Loved that, "That's the C-130 that SHOULD have taken us home."

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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