A hero of the Dec. 7, 1941, Ewa Field battle will be attending the 70-100 Anniversary Ceremony at Kalaeloa Airport, the former Naval Air Station Barbers Point, on Dec. 10. The event combines the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Ewa Field with the 100th anniversary of US Marine Corps aviation.
MAG-21 at Ewa Mooring Mast Field grew into Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, which helped train and support 125 Marine ace pilots and eight Medal of Honor winners.
John Hughes, Major, USMC Ret, now 92 years old, is one of the last living historic links to the initial Japanese attack on Oahu on Dec. 7, 1941. The main Japanese naval air force units flew directly past Ewa Field on their way to Pearl, and one of the first Marines who immediately recognized what was happening and headed for the Ewa Field armory was then Sgt. Hughes. He was also an eyewitness to the air combat over Ewa Field and saw an Army P-40 shoot down two Japanese planes just seconds apart.
Hughes applied for flight school and became a decorated Marine Corps pilot, flying 150 missions in the Philippines and the Solomon Islands as a dive-bomber pilot and was later a helicopter pilot in the Korean War. The Distinguished Flying Cross is among his decorations and he retired from Marine Corps aviation in 1964.
The event, which begins at 10 a.m., also will feature a screening of the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora,” which was shot on location at MCAS Ewa Field and Naval Air Station Barbers Point — today known as Kalaeloa Airport.
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