Marine Corps Air Station Ewa

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Marine Corps Air Station Ewa
Oahu, Hawaii
Marine Corps Station Ewa - Barracks for civilian housing.jpg
Civilian barracks at Ewa
Coordinates 21°19′20″N 158°02′58″W / 21.32222°N 158.04944°W / 21.32222; -158.04944 (Marine Corps Air Station Ewa)Coordinates: 21°19′20″N 158°02′58″W / 21.32222°N 158.04944°W / 21.32222; -158.04944 (Marine Corps Air Station Ewa)
Type Military air station
Site information
Controlled by USMC
Site history
Built 1925 – June 18, 1952
In use 1925 - 1952
Battles/wars World War II
* Attack on Pearl Harbor

Marine Corps Air Station Ewa (MCAS Ewa) was a United States Marine Corps air station that was located 7 miles (11 km) west of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The base was hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and later served as the hub for all Marine aviation units heading into combat in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The base was closed in 1952 because its runways were too short for jet aircraft, and expansion was impossible due to the proximity of Naval Air Station Barbers Point. Ewa has been abandoned since 1952; however, two of its runways are still visible from the air and many of the revetments still remain in good condition.

History[edit]

Destroyed SBD from VMSB-232 at Ewa, 7 December 1941.
Covered concrete revetments at Ewa

It was originally founded as an airship base for the United States Navy in 1925. The airship program was cancelled after 3 of the 4 dirigibles located there crashed during the 1930s. The base's upgrade to an air station began in September 1940, and on February 3, 1941 it was commissioned Marine Corps Air Station Ewa.[1]

By the onset of World War II, the air station had four runways and numerous hangars. On December 7, 1941, MCAS Ewa was the first installation hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor. All forty eight aircraft based there were destroyed.[2]

In April 1944, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was relocated to MCAS Ewa where they stayed for the remainder of the war.[3]

The start of the Korean War saw another surge in activity at MCAS Ewa, but because the runways were becoming more and more unsuitable for jet aircraft, the Marine Corps shifted its aviation assets to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. Ewa was officially closed on June 18, 1952 and its property assumed by Naval Air Station Barbers Point.

Redevelopment[edit]

In 2008, the US Navy announced they would be leasing 499 acres (2.02 km2) of the old air station to Ford Island Properties, who plan on building expensive homes and shopping centers to create an urban center for Kapolei. The Navy has said that 4 to 5 acres (20,000 m2) of the base near the center of the old runways qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places. While some local looking to preserve the field are trying to rally support to make it a National Cemetery. The Navy and Ford Island Properties were expected to conclude their lease agreement in August 2008.[4]

In 2013 the Honolulu City Council moved forwards on a plan to have a road built over the airfield.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  2. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Hawaii, Southern Oahu Island". [1]. 
  3. ^ "MCAS El Toro History". [2]. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ Cole, William (2008-06-30). "Preserving 'Ewa Marine Corps field an uphill struggle". www.honoluluadvertiser.com. Retrieved 2008-06-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Developers have WWII airfield in their sights."

External links[edit]