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Long Shot - Anyone here ever live on Ford Island? (Pearl Harbor)


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I lived on Ford Island for two years (1971-1973). At that time, the island was inaccessible to the general public. There was no bridge so you had to either take a launch (small boat) or drive over on the ferry. The whole island was like a time capsule - not much had changed since December 7, 1941. I wish I had paid more attention (I was in 8th and 9th grades) and really tuned into the history that was all around me. I could see the USS Utah from my living room window - they built the memorial while I lived there. I went past the USS Arizona memorial every time we got on the ferry to go shopping or something on Oahu. Anyway, just wondered if anyone else here lived on Ford Island since tomorrow is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Didn't live there, but I did live in the barracks on the Naval Base in Pearl Harbor and then in a high rise apartment in Aiea overlooking the harbor and the Memorial. They were building the bridge the year I moved away. But, DH worked out at the medical clinic at Ford Island for a few years and then stood Ambulance duty over there for many more. He has some crazy stories from that place as well as some very good memories! It is a common belief among the Corpsmen that have stood duty overnight at the clinic that it is haunted... But, yes, we both remember the place fondly and especially the ferry/small boat trip. I was really disappointed when they shut down Barbers Point and then built that bridge...I wonder what it is like now? Anyone been to the area recently?

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Didn't live there, but I did live in the barracks on the Naval Base in Pearl Harbor and then in a high rise apartment in Aiea overlooking the harbor and the Memorial. They were building the bridge the year I moved away. But, DH worked out at the medical clinic at Ford Island for a few years and then stood Ambulance duty over there for many more. He has some crazy stories from that place as well as some very good memories! It is a common belief among the Corpsmen that have stood duty overnight at the clinic that it is haunted... But, yes, we both remember the place fondly and especially the ferry/small boat trip. I was really disappointed when they shut down Barbers Point and then built that bridge...I wonder what it is like now? Anyone been to the area recently?

 

Well, that's pretty close.:) I had a reaction to compazine (prescribed for severe nausea) when I lived there and had to be taken by ambulance and boat to the dispensary at Pearl Harbor. What a fiasco!! The ambulance stretcher was so infrequently used that it was stuck in the ambulance (rusted?). Then they had to lower me into the launch and I was practically vertical. The joke was that they only ever drove the ambulance to charge the battery. I watched some homemade-type youtube videos of Ford Island and it doesn't look the same at all. They have tour buses driving over from Oahu!!!

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Well, that's pretty close.:) I had a reaction to compazine (prescribed for severe nausea) when I lived there and had to be taken by ambulance and boat to the dispensary at Pearl Harbor. What a fiasco!! The ambulance stretcher was so infrequently used that it was stuck in the ambulance (rusted?). Then they had to lower me into the launch and I was practically vertical. The joke was that they only ever drove the ambulance to charge the battery. I watched some homemade-type youtube videos of Ford Island and it doesn't look the same at all. They have tour buses driving over from Oahu!!!

 

 

Tour buses?? Hmmm...just not right..but I bet the ambulance service is a bit better now that the bridge is there;) Do they still have housing out there then, I wonder?

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Tour buses?? Hmmm...just not right..but I bet the ambulance service is a bit better now that the bridge is there;) Do they still have housing out there then, I wonder?

 

Yes, actually they have built a lot more houses. They were planning on destroying the old housing but the conservationists cried out about it and they have since refurbished them. I lived in the Luke Field housing area which consisted of "arts and crafts" style bungalows built by the Army in the '20s. Here's a website that shows all the houses. I've got the link for the Luke Field houses selected, but the others are listed in the left sidebar. If you click on the smaller pictures at the bottom, my style house was the 4th image (out of 10). The view from my living room was similar to the 9th image. That was my favorite house of all the one's the Navy put us in.

 

http://www.fcnavyhawaii.com/neighborhoods_listing.asp?c=4&cc=2&ccc=21497863&tab=overview

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I lived on Ford Island for two years (1971-1973). At that time, the island was inaccessible to the general public. There was no bridge so you had to either take a launch (small boat) or drive over on the ferry. The whole island was like a time capsule - not much had changed since December 7, 1941. I wish I had paid more attention (I was in 8th and 9th grades) and really tuned into the history that was all around me. I could see the USS Utah from my living room window - they built the memorial while I lived there. I went past the USS Arizona memorial every time we got on the ferry to go shopping or something on Oahu. Anyway, just wondered if anyone else here lived on Ford Island since tomorrow is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

There has been a ton of development, even over the two years that we were there. There is an aviation museum in a couple of the hangers, USS Missouri is there as a museum ship (although she's in drydock at the moment) and there are a lot of houses that were built up.

 

Have you ever read Children of Battleship Row by Joan Zuber Earle? She was a young girl who lived in one of the bungalows on Ford Island during the Pearl Harbor attack. I bet that you'd enjoy the book. It is one of the best books I've read on the attack and she had a lot of details that you'd probably appreciate.

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There has been a ton of development, even over the two years that we were there. There is an aviation museum in a couple of the hangers, USS Missouri is there as a museum ship (although she's in drydock at the moment) and there are a lot of houses that were built up.

 

Have you ever read Children of Battleship Row by Joan Zuber Earle? She was a young girl who lived in one of the bungalows on Ford Island during the Pearl Harbor attack. I bet that you'd enjoy the book. It is one of the best books I've read on the attack and she had a lot of details that you'd probably appreciate.

 

I've never read that - thanks for the recommendation!:)

 

ETA: I just ordered two - one for me and one for my sister. Btw, where did you live?

Edited by Kathleen in VA
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Your post brought back lots of memories for me. I lived on Hickam AFB during the late '70s. I was about 2 blocks from Pearl Harbor and my friends and I would go down there all the time and watch the ships coming in.

 

I always thought it was so neat that you could still see shell marks in many of the buildings on Hickam. I really loved living there.

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There has been a ton of development, even over the two years that we were there. There is an aviation museum in a couple of the hangers, USS Missouri is there as a museum ship (although she's in drydock at the moment) and there are a lot of houses that were built up.

 

Have you ever read Children of Battleship Row by Joan Zuber Earle? She was a young girl who lived in one of the bungalows on Ford Island during the Pearl Harbor attack. I bet that you'd enjoy the book. It is one of the best books I've read on the attack and she had a lot of details that you'd probably appreciate.

 

Oh, I just now noticed in your post title that you lived in McGrew Point. We lived there one year before we moved to Ford Island. It was ok, but when I lived there it was rather isolated. Being 11 years old at the time, it seemed depressing. There was nothing to do in the neighborhood - no pool or tennis courts or even a playground, iirc. I hope they've fixed it up a bit since then.

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Your post brought back lots of memories for me. I lived on Hickam AFB during the late '70s. I was about 2 blocks from Pearl Harbor and my friends and I would go down there all the time and watch the ships coming in.

 

I always thought it was so neat that you could still see shell marks in many of the buildings on Hickam. I really loved living there.

 

Wasn't it great watching the ships come in? I remember when the USS Enterprise came into the harbor - it was so ginormous - I'd never seen anything that huge before. My dad was on the Intrepid which was a much smaller air craft carrier by comparison.

 

I know what you mean about the shell marks. There was a plaque on the wall next to a big gash in the floor of the Ford Island Dispensary where a bomb had landed but did not explode. Right across the street from the dispensary was (is?) the Ford Island theater. I watched Tora! Tora! Tora! there - it had just recently been filmed there.

 

I had lots of friends who lived on Hickam so I visited there several times. Where did you go to school? I went to Aliamanu for middle school and Radford for 9th grade. Great memories - I loved it too.:)

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I know what you mean about the shell marks. There was a plaque on the wall next to a big gash in the floor of the Ford Island Dispensary where a bomb had landed but did not explode. Right across the street from the dispensary was (is?) the Ford Island theater.

 

Wow, you guys are bringing back so many memories! Pearl Harbor was my first duty station in the Navy, and when DH and I had just started dating, he took me out to see that gash in the floor -- right in the middle of the courtyard...really incredible.

 

Also, can't wait to get that book...looks really good! Thanks for the rec!

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We were offered a Luke Field home during my husband's first tour in HI but declined because they required a signed release absolving the military of responsibility for any lead/asbestos/chemical poisoning your family may suffer (I was pregnant with our first). We ended up living by the water on Pearl Harbor Peninsula. This tour we were offered one of the new homes on Ford Island but opted to live on Hickam for convenience (they are now allowing all services to live on the various bases).

 

They have put up a ton of new housing on Ford Island. There are three large neighborhoods that have gone in since the first time we were here (just 6 years ago).

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We were offered a Luke Field home during my husband's first tour in HI but declined because they required a signed release absolving the military of responsibility for any lead/asbestos/chemical poisoning your family may suffer (I was pregnant with our first). We ended up living by the water on Pearl Harbor Peninsula. This tour we were offered one of the new homes on Ford Island but opted to live on Hickam for convenience (they are now allowing all services to live on the various bases).

 

They have put up a ton of new housing on Ford Island. There are three large neighborhoods that have gone in since the first time we were here (just 6 years ago).

 

Ha! Yes, I'm sure our house was "dangerous," although no one in my family had a clue about such things back in the 70's. Those houses were OLD! But I loved the arts and crafts style, even though I didn't know what that was either, lol. I also loved the community on Ford Island. When you have to take a boat or a ferry to get off, you develop a close-knit relationship with the other families. I'm guessing it's much different now that there is a bridge. I was there during the Vietnam war and my dad was an intelligence officer - the island was very security conscious then. I used to have nightmares that the Viet Cong had invaded the island and were hiding behind all the doors in my house. I think I had mixed the attack by the Japanese in 1941 with the war at the time in my childish mind.

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I had lots of friends who lived on Hickam so I visited there several times. Where did you go to school? I went to Aliamanu for middle school and Radford for 9th grade. Great memories - I loved it too.:)

 

We were at Hickam in the mid-late 70s as well. I was in elementary school but my brother graduated from Radford in '77.

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Wasn't it great watching the ships come in? I remember when the USS Enterprise came into the harbor - it was so ginormous - I'd never seen anything that huge before. My dad was on the Intrepid which was a much smaller air craft carrier by comparison.

 

I know what you mean about the shell marks. There was a plaque on the wall next to a big gash in the floor of the Ford Island Dispensary where a bomb had landed but did not explode. Right across the street from the dispensary was (is?) the Ford Island theater. I watched Tora! Tora! Tora! there - it had just recently been filmed there.

 

I had lots of friends who lived on Hickam so I visited there several times. Where did you go to school? I went to Aliamanu for middle school and Radford for 9th grade. Great memories - I loved it too.:)

 

I saw the Enterprise come in once, too! My dad and lots of parents came out to watch it-very cool.

 

I went to Hickam Elementary from '77-80. My older sister went to Aliamanu! She would have gone to Radford but we were transferred back to the mainland.

 

It's so nice to talk to other military kids who lived in Hawaii! It really had a different feel than anywhere else I've lived.

 

 

Susan - what grades were you in? We might have known each other! I was in 3rd-5th during '77-'80.

Edited by Mothersweets
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We lived over in Pearl City Peninsula as of 4 years ago. The housing over on Ford Island had just opened up, but we weren't offered it and I loved what we were offered on Pearl City Penn.

 

Soooo, almost!

 

Kris

 

Hey, it's great just to hear from someone who even knows what I'm talking about.:) When we lived there all the housing had been there for decades at least - it was all pretty bad so Ford Island was considered one of the nicest places (Makalapa was good, too). I'm so glad they built new housing and refurbished that old stuff - it was all very sad indeed. I don't think we ever got out to the Pearl City peninsula but we did shop at Pearl Ridge mall - it was built while we lived there.

 

Where in Japan are you? I have a friend whose husband is in the AF and they are on Okinawa.

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My dh graduated from Radford in '78!

 

My in-laws never lived on base, (they still live in Foster Village) but my fil was stationed at Hickam in the 70s, and my b-in-law is a civilian who takes care of subs when they are in Pearl for maintenance. He used to teach water skiing out at the small Hickam harbor next to the Officer's club. We'd go hang out there and watch the big 747s taxi out the reef runway. And my nephew is in the Hawaiian Air National Guard at Hickam. He took us out to Ford Island and the new museum and the USS Missouri 2 years ago. My dh worked at the Pearl Harbor Exchange all through college. My mother in law still teaches Hawaiian quilting classes on Hickam.

 

We'll be there in 2 weeks and will be on Hickam for Christmas Eve services at one of the chapels -- I can't tell you which one as I can never keep them straight!! We always take the kids (who are now big kids) to enjoy the lights on the big water tower. I LOVE all those old bungalow houses on Hickam, the wide streets and the big trees.

 

I went to UH in the early 80s, which is how I met my dh. It was fabulous having a military sticker on his car as we could always find parking at the DeRussy lot in Waikiki -- all the movie theaters in town were there (they've all since closed) and we'd park at DeRussy every date night, and enjoy walking through Waikiki on our way to and from the movies.

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We were at Hickam in the mid-late 70s as well. I was in elementary school but my brother graduated from Radford in '77.

 

My sister graduated in '74. She stayed with another family on Ford Island for another year after we moved just so she could graduate from Radford because she loved it so much.

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My dh graduated from Radford in '78!

 

My in-laws never lived on base, (they still live in Foster Village) but my fil was stationed at Hickam in the 70s, and my b-in-law is a civilian who takes care of subs when they are in Pearl for maintenance. He used to teach water skiing out at the small Hickam harbor next to the Officer's club. We'd go hang out there and watch the big 747s taxi out the reef runway. And my nephew is in the Hawaiian Air National Guard at Hickam. He took us out to Ford Island and the new museum and the USS Missouri 2 years ago. My dh worked at the Pearl Harbor Exchange all through college. My mother in law still teaches Hawaiian quilting classes on Hickam.

 

We'll be there in 2 weeks and will be on Hickam for Christmas Eve services at one of the chapels -- I can't tell you which one as I can never keep them straight!! We always take the kids (who are now big kids) to enjoy the lights on the big water tower. I LOVE all those old bungalow houses on Hickam, the wide streets and the big trees.

 

I went to UH in the early 80s, which is how I met my dh. It was fabulous having a military sticker on his car as we could always find parking at the DeRussy lot in Waikiki -- all the movie theaters in town were there (they've all since closed) and we'd park at DeRussy every date night, and enjoy walking through Waikiki on our way to and from the movies.

 

Wow! That brought back a lot of memories. I had tons of friends who lived in Foster Village since it's right across the street from Radford. My dad still lives in Hawaii - he's in Kailua (my parent's divorced the year we moved and he stayed there.) I never get out to see him because I really don't like flying and that is one. long. trip. Ugh! He got his doctorate at UH and taught there in the '80s - political science.

 

Once, after a school dance, a friend who lived on Hickam invited a bunch of us girls to spend the night at her house. We went down to Waikiki to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor before going to her house - I bet her mom parked at the same parking lot.:) She lived in one of those big old houses on one of those wide streets - it was a cool house.

 

When I went to chapel on FI it was meeting in a quonset hut - I wonder if it's still there.

 

I'm racing out this morning to take dh for a colonoscopy so will check in later for more reminiscing.:D

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Laura - I was there from 3rd to 5th too but it was '74 -'77 and I went to Nimitz Elementery. I don't remember there being another elementery school. I just know that Nimitz was a short walk from our house. We lived on Ohana Nui Circle.

 

JennW - My brother would have graduated in '78 but we were transferring and he didn't want to do his senior year at a new school so he took extra classes and graduated early. Him and your husband very well may have known rach other. I'll PM you his name so you can ask your dh.

 

Kathleen - so funny that you mentioned the Ferrel's in Waikiki. I was just telling a friend about an incident there when my granparents were visiting. some kid had gotten one of those big jawbreakers stuck in his mouth (behind his teeth) and they had to call an ambulance. My grandmother was so upset and I think about that every time I see a jawbreaker.

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Hey, it's great just to hear from someone who even knows what I'm talking about.:) When we lived there all the housing had been there for decades at least - it was all pretty bad so Ford Island was considered one of the nicest places (Makalapa was good, too). I'm so glad they built new housing and refurbished that old stuff - it was all very sad indeed. I don't think we ever got out to the Pearl City peninsula but we did shop at Pearl Ridge mall - it was built while we lived there.

 

Where in Japan are you? I have a friend whose husband is in the AF and they are on Okinawa.

 

We're just south of Tokyo in Yokosuka area.

 

We love it here!! Better than Hawaii, other than the language barrier.

 

Kris

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest belanga

The year was 1964 in Feb. fresh out of boot camp in Great Lakes. Was assigned to the Water Transportion Division on Ford Island. We operated all the boats in Pearl except the tugs. The quarters were the boat house above the boat slips, and when someone missed the slip, it shook the entire place. Only ones on the island at that time was our division and a small officer housing. What great duty. I think at the begining of 1965 a sub school was taking over one of the hangers for crew training on the nukey boats and we got lots of people then.

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The year was 1964 in Feb. fresh out of boot camp in Great Lakes. Was assigned to the Water Transportion Division on Ford Island. We operated all the boats in Pearl except the tugs. The quarters were the boat house above the boat slips, and when someone missed the slip, it shook the entire place. Only ones on the island at that time was our division and a small officer housing. What great duty. I think at the begining of 1965 a sub school was taking over one of the hangers for crew training on the nukey boats and we got lots of people then.

 

 

I remember being in awe of the boat drivers that took me to and from school everyday. We all thought they had one of the best jobs ever.:) It's sad to me that there is a bridge now - takes so much of the spirit of the island away.

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I have to say it was very cool to read all the memories of living on Ford Island. This is from someone who could see FI but could never go there. I grew up in Aiea, just on the other side of Pearl Ridge Shopping Center. FI was so mysterious to me. Many years later when I got back to visit with my family it was so strange to see the bridge. Of course, so much has changed on Oahu anyway. All my family is still there but I don't get to visit very often.

 

 

Cinder

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  • 10 months later...
Guest pnesler

Between 1974 and 1976 I lived on Ford Island as Engineer on board Adm. Paddock and Adm. Wentworths personal yacht. I lived in a small building next to the old boat house directly across from the Water Transportation building a short distance from the old landing that brought people from Marys Point. I went back there last month, in Sept. My office is gone because they had to demolish it for small buildings next to where the Battleship Missouri now is anchored. I used to give historical narrations to visitors that the Admirals would invite to Pearl Harbor. Congressmen, Movie stars, and others of importance. It was a phenomenal time in my life. Long before the bridge was erected the ferry used to bring vehicles to Ford Island. I used to ride in the bridge of the ferry with the coxswain many times just for things to do. As I worked with all of them. Everyone on the Island was like a big family. When I got to the Island for the first time in May of 1974 most of the houses on Ford Island across from the Arizona were not inhabited and I went through many of them. Most were still in good shape. It was a very exciting time for a young man of 19 yrs. old.

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Between 1974 and 1976 I lived on Ford Island as Engineer on board Adm. Paddock and Adm. Wentworths personal yacht. I lived in a small building next to the old boat house directly across from the Water Transportation building a short distance from the old landing that brought people from Marys Point. I went back there last month, in Sept. My office is gone because they had to demolish it for small buildings next to where the Battleship Missouri now is anchored. I used to give historical narrations to visitors that the Admirals would invite to Pearl Harbor. Congressmen, Movie stars, and others of importance. It was a phenomenal time in my life. Long before the bridge was erected the ferry used to bring vehicles to Ford Island. I used to ride in the bridge of the ferry with the coxswain many times just for things to do. As I worked with all of them. Everyone on the Island was like a big family. When I got to the Island for the first time in May of 1974 most of the houses on Ford Island across from the Arizona were not inhabited and I went through many of them. Most were still in good shape. It was a very exciting time for a young man of 19 yrs. old.

 

What an awesome job! There's no place in the world like Ford Island, is there? I miss it terribly, but it's not the kind of place you "go home to." Even if I did go back, no one I knew then would be there. Lots of great memories though. Thanks for sharing your experience - you were there just after I moved away in 1973.

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I lived on Ford Island during this time as a Marine. I took in every bit of history I possibly could. There was something awesome and majestic about waking up at three in the morning, going for a walk, and walking right up to the shores of Ford Island to sit down and watch the U.S. flag wave over the Arizona. Sadly, when I left the island in 2006, I was one of the last service men to move out of the Ford Island barracks as the island was taking one more step to becoming a tourist trap.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest HiloHattie

Hi I lived on Ford Island from 1963-64. My step dad was in the Navy and I took a launch to the school bus to go to Radford High School, and then reversed the trip coming back home. I was 17-18. My future husband worked with my step-dad and became a friend of the family. I graduated from Radford High School in 1964. Life was quite interesting because in those days the boys picked you up. They had to take the ferry to get me and rush like crazy to get the next one back and then the same when they brought me home. I had to stay with girlfriends when I had special dates like the prom...no way to get home as the ferry stopped shortly after midnight on weekends, and well before that on weeknights. I took my grown kids there in 1997 and 1999, and saw the difference between no bridge and the new bridge. All the roach infested enlistd housing had been removed and there was little activity there. We had 7 people in our family (including a grandmother) and were in a two bedroom unit. My mother and step d had a draped off section of the living room. The Navy eventually moved us to Halsey Terrace with 4 bedrooms, and as a 17 yr old I got my own bedroom! This sure brings back memories. If anyone saw one of the episodes of ER I think it was one of the doctors was dying and he was flashbacking to living on FI as a teenager. Interesting episode. Please write back all!

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Hi I lived on Ford Island from 1963-64. My step dad was in the Navy and I took a launch to the school bus to go to Radford High School, and then reversed the trip coming back home. I was 17-18. My future husband worked with my step-dad and became a friend of the family. I graduated from Radford High School in 1964. Life was quite interesting because in those days the boys picked you up. They had to take the ferry to get me and rush like crazy to get the next one back and then the same when they brought me home. I had to stay with girlfriends when I had special dates like the prom...no way to get home as the ferry stopped shortly after midnight on weekends, and well before that on weeknights. I took my grown kids there in 1997 and 1999, and saw the difference between no bridge and the new bridge. All the roach infested enlistd housing had been removed and there was little activity there. We had 7 people in our family (including a grandmother) and were in a two bedroom unit. My mother and step d had a draped off section of the living room. The Navy eventually moved us to Halsey Terrace with 4 bedrooms, and as a 17 yr old I got my own bedroom! This sure brings back memories. If anyone saw one of the episodes of ER I think it was one of the doctors was dying and he was flashbacking to living on FI as a teenager. Interesting episode. Please write back all!

 

Cant' remember if I mentioned that I went to Radford, too. My sister graduated from Radford in 1974. I only went there for 9th grade so didn't go to the prom or other dances. The ferry was a hoot. On Christmas Eve eve (12/30/72) I got appendicitis. My mom took me to the FI dispensary and the corpsman told her to take me to the main dispensary at Pearl Harbor. She was so annoyed that we had to wait for the ferry and spend all that time - she was really sure I only had an upset stomach. She said, "You had just better be good and sick!" as I lay there on the backseat of the car tossing my cookies. They took me to Tripler by ambulance and my appendix was removed within about an hour.:D

 

I babysat in that enlisted housing. To be fair, we had lots of roaches too. I always left the light on in my closet because I didn't like finding them on my clothes and in my shoes. AACCKK!! The new Navy housing is so much better than anything that was available to your family or mine - it shocked us to see what we were offered when we first moved there. We got our house on FI after living in McGrew Point for a year.

 

I missed that ER episode - that would have been interesting to watch. I'm not sure what it was about FI, but it warms my heart just thinking about it.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Clyde in Texas

I was stationed on Ford Island from March 1966 to March 1968. I was an engineman and rode the school boat, the officers boat, the passenger boats and lastly the ferry boats. I can remember a few names of those stationed there with me. While on the officers boat we held Colors on the Arizona. I didn't think much of it then, but now I realize what an honor that was.

My wife and I went back a couple years ago. The main base has changed a lot and the bridge just looks out of place. Oahu has changed a lot also. For one its cleaner than I remembered.

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  • 2 years later...
Guest Andy Lawrence 29

Kathleen,

I used to live on Ford Island---from 1957 to 1961. My father was a naval officer there and was in charge of the air station, and later worked in anti- sub marine warfare. I lived in two houses on base; quarters 106 down by the Utah, (right across from the bomb shelter) and in quarters E right across from the pool. I have been searching for friends from that era and you're the first I've found.

I went first to Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary and later to Radford High. Very, very formative years for me. The best years of my life. Would love to hear back.

Andrew Lawrence.

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I've enjoyed reading this!! We did not live on FI (were in Kailua then later Makalapa), but my aunt/uncle/cousins lived there. I remember riding the ferry over! Back in 1982 during a hurricane my cousin (2yo at the time) was potty training. A tree fell through the bathroom as he was going. Needless to say they were still working on training him as they approached kindergarten!!

 

We had massive roaches in Makalapa too.

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  • 5 months later...
Guest clwestmoreland

I lived on Ford Island from July 1964 until December 1965. Then we moved to Monaloa Terrace.   I have wonderful memories of riding the boat to and from Pearl harbor to attend school at Aliamanu Intermediate and Radford High.  I attended the chapel there, went to the teen club and had a blast.  I was there in 7th and part of my 8th grade year.  The Ferry rides were so nice at night. So much history that surrounded us...I think that is why I still love History.  Would love to hear from others that lived on the island back then. Haven't been to the island since they put up the bridge.  I am sure it is totally changed but my memories are still with me.

Cathy "Jolly" Westmoreland

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Guest clwestmoreland

During the time I lived on Ford island, I was in a hula dance group that danced several times a week for the ships coming and departing from the island.  It was during the height of the Vietnam War and so we were very busy dancing.  Some of the air craft carriers were so huge I felt like the men looking down from the ship only saw little ants moving.  At Radford I was in a group that made flower leis to be taken to Punchbowl, to the planes returning with men on R & R and to planes carrying our brave deceased men home.  With all the fun (and there was tons of fun...even in the two bedroom, bug infested housing) there was also the knowledge that we were living in some very emotional times.  Does anyone remember all the bomb shelters on the island?   Or riding your bike all around the island...on the seaplane side or side where Utah sank was very scary....nothing there but some old camaflouged buildings when I lived on the island.  Everyone lived basically on one side of the island.  I sure did see my share of movies while living there. I thought it was cool that everyone was like family.  We only had to dial four digits on the phone to get a hold of another friend.  Do you remember the newspaper the "Ford Islander"?  so many memories.

Cathy "Jolly" Westmoreland    1964-65

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I am not on Ford Island but live on Oahu and have friends who live on Ford Island. There are tons of new houses there.  We love going to Pearl Harbor.  It's been so cool to be a able to experience it . We got to see Under the Blood Red Sun based on the book by Graham Salisbury while sitting on the lawn at Pearl Harbor overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial.

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  • 7 months later...

Kathleen - just came across this blog ...it's funny, in 1963-65, we used to play some of our junior high basketball games in the Ford island gym, you're right, we would have to ferry across and the island was basically deserted, my buddies and I used to do a lot of exploring in those old hangers etc.  Thanks, Mike Ray  

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  • 2 years later...

Ford Island is a very special place, and is reflected on often by those who have lived there. When we first moved to Ford Island in the 1960s, there was still so much wreckage left from the Attack in 1941: sand bags next to rounds of shell ordinance next to at least 15 tanks parked next to approximately 30 lorries. All this equipment was parked in the field something like five yards from the BEQ (north of the Ford Island Ferry Landing and "the swamp" where dependents caught launch boats to go to school, etc., in the years before the Attack). This armory extended northward in the field along the perimeter road in front of the corrugated base Chapel, which was in front of enlisted apartments close to where the Arizona moored. The "John Wayne House" was filmed in one of the CPO houses for the movie "In Harm's Way" which was released in 1959. There was a humongous cannon that looked like a 914 mm "Little David," and two smaller cannons from WWI parked in the field across from the Officer's Pool at Nob Hill. This was consistent with what history tells us about the weapons, ships, ordinance, etc.,having been grouped so closely together just days before the Attack. There was a huge Army Battalion camped out behind our homes (just a few feet in back of our houses where we used to wait for the Hawaiian Bus Driver to make stops on the gray Navy Shuttle Bus). All these men were slaughtered the day of the Attack - bloodied white tents askew. The bodies sat for a l9ng time before they were dealt with. 3-inch flying Hawaiian cockroaches and mosquitos took control. It took years to subdue the problem. There was a sea of Army and Marine Corps barracks of the semi-rounded corrugated-tin type as far as the eye could see from the field across from Nob Hill Pool that extended South beyond the Runway Tower. A scene in the movie "Tora Tora Tora" was filmed In front of the Enlisted Apartments close to where the Arizona was moored - but The Navy demolished those. They also demolished Quarters 105. There were two other homes between Quarters 105 and the "new BOQ"/Navy Travel Lodge which were gone before we moved to Ford Island in the 1960s and on the opposite side of the lane where the Bomb Shelter is located were four other homes which were also gone before we moved there. I don't know if that was due to the Attack or to something else. There is or was an electrical station in a cinder block building that had an overgrowth of vegetation around it on the south side of the golf course. Feet away had been four one bedroom homes which were destroyed on December 7. The rubble of those homes was overtaken with thick vegetation. There was a church across from the movie theatre with a New England style steeple which was destroyed during the Attack. The Army had a two story building at the top of the circular driveway next to the gigantic monkey-pod tree in back of our houses at Luke Field - near the bomb shelter. The Army building was destroyed during the Attack. The circular driveway was directly in back of Quarters 107. Eventually the Navy put a swing set by the Monkey Pod Tree that I loved so much when we lived there - minus the Army building and anything left from the Army Batallion that camped there. In the years that have passed I have met people who were there on December 7, 1941. One veteran said he was stationed there shortly before the attack and was stationed on Ford Island three years. Everyone in spite of rank had to participate in physically cleaning up the mess. It was a 24 hour "round the clock" operation and they had to do their jobs working their time shifts in addition to helping with the Clean up of Ford Island and Pearl Harbor and sleep was an issue. He was a very angry man for all that he saw including what he thought was a black glove on top of a gray metal filing cabinet one year after the attack. The pool at Nob Hill had twisted and mangled corrugated awning with bullet holes in it that was over the shaded picnic area, and also over the life guard shack.

There was a green munitions storage locker in the parking lot of the pool and Upper Lanai that had a sod roof with grass on it. The roof was A-shaped. The munitions locker was used as the package liquor store - a term that cane from Prohibition. My friends and I enjoyed sliding down the side of the roof on cardboard boxes before trapping through the Lower Lanai to go throughout the Upper Lanai to the pool. There eas?a large stage at the Upper Lanai which was just feet from the pool gate. They filmed a scene from the movie in Harm's Way between the Upper Lanai and the pool. The ladies room there barely functioned. It was very sad. There were gorgeous victorian style chairs in the ladies room but there had been damage from the Attack. The mirrors were not useable and it smelled.

 

I was told by people that there are at least five mass graves on Ford Island - one by the road in back of the Bomb Shelter near the "new " BOQ which was built in 1936 - not the lane that runs in back of the houses on Luke Field. The other mass graves are closer to The runway on all sides. The old BOQ was a grand building built in the 1800s and finished in the early 1900s. It had gorgeous fragrant wood, wooden louvres, stations to tie up horses and a stable. I love the way our homes were decorated at Luke Field. We had a dumb waiter in our home since the homes originally predated electricity. The idea was to cook the food on the patio and transport it to the kitchen from the patio using the dumb waiter. There were French double doors separating the den/living room/dining room. We had white ceiling beams and clever white wooden ceiling borders. Most homes on Luke Field had fireplaces. I remember Quarters 118 and 114 had hearth fireplaces. I was told when we lived there that our home was built in 1919. The last homes on Nob Hill predating the 1990s were finished in 1936. My best friend lived in a home on Nob Hill that was the cinder block type. My thought is that her home was heavily damaged during the Attack on Ford Island and was rebuilt with Cinder block. She reported seeing a naked man and women on her bed "doing things"a number of times that were seriously horrifying and annoying to her and the haunting scared this poor little girl. The woman had a poopy curl hair style from that era. They must have been performing their marital duties during the Attack. She wailed about it some mornings on the way to school.

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  • 3 years later...
On 9/6/2014 at 4:37 PM, Guest Andy Lawrence 29 said:

Kathleen,

I used to live on Ford Island---from 1957 to 1961. My father was a naval officer there and was in charge of the air station, and later worked in anti- sub marine warfare. I lived in two houses on base; quarters 106 down by the Utah, (right across from the bomb shelter) and in quarters E right across from the pool. I have been searching for friends from that era and you're the first I've found.

I went first to Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary and later to Radford High. Very, very formative years for me. The best years of my life. Would love to hear back.

Andrew Lawrence.

 

Ford Island Memories - Kathleen.docx

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