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    Bellows honors Dec. 7 attack heroes

    Bellows honors Dec. 7 attack heroes

    Photo By Master Sgt. Alexander Martinez | Family members of an honored veteran take photos of and with a memorial during a...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez 

    Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

    Approximately 100 people came together in honoring the legacy and heroism of Bellows servicemembers during a commemoration ceremony Dec. 8, 2016.

    The ceremony commemorated the heroic acts on display at Bellows during the Dec. 7, 1941, attacks on Pearl Harbor and Oahu.

    “It’s incredible to have this ceremony out here when for so long all the recognition has overlooked those who served, and in some cases lost their lives, here at Bellows on that fateful day,” said Jessie Higa, volunteer historian and event organizer. “We are here to remember and honor these men, and it’s also important to honor the families and their connection to the bravery displayed by their loved ones.”

    Those honored included 2nd Lts. George Whiteman and Hans Christiansen and 1st Lt. Samuel Bishop, all P-40B Warhawk pilots with the 44th Pursuit Squadron, and Lt. Paul Plybon and Cpl. David Akui. Akui is credited with capturing the first Japanese prisoner of war.

    “I was very happy about the ceremony — seeing my uncle be honored in such a way makes me feel good,” said Gayle Barry-Kent, Whiteman’s niece. “I was quite pleased with the commander here at Bellows for allowing us to honor him with this event.”

    Whiteman’s P-40B had just lifted off of the runway at Bellows when enemy gunfire shot into his cockpit hitting him and causing the plane to crash and burn just off the end of the runway. The U.S. Air Force named Whiteman Air Force Base in his honor.

    Family members were called up to the memorials to present leis, followed by a 21-gun salute performed by the Hickam Honor Guard.



    Date Taken: 12.08.2016
    Date Posted: 12.09.2016 16:25
    Story ID: 217122
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 

    Web Views: 34
    Downloads: 0