Hawaii On Offense
Japan continued to strike throughout the Pacific to set up its defense perimeter. But in 1942, General Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo raid and a key victory at Midway turned the war
around. Hawai'i was safe and the United States switched from defense to offense.
Planes ready at Wheeler AFB
The military population on O'ahu grew rapidly as troops arrived from the mainland. When space was used up in established posts like Schofield Barracks, temporary camps and installations
were hastily constructed. Millions of American servicemen passed through Hawai'i on their way to the Pacific combat areas.
The battles at Guadalcanal demonstrated the need to train U.S. troops for jungle warfare. In December 1942, the Army opened the Ranger and Combat Training School at Schofield Barracks.
Using the jungle-like terrain of central O'ahu and simulated Japanese defenses, the school taught hand-to-hand combat, stream crossing techniques, demolitions, and the use of special
tactics and weapons, flame throwers, mortars and small arms.
More training areas were opened in 1943 to teach survival skills and familiarize the troops with conditions on their Pacific Island objectives. O'ahu had over 50 sizable Army reservations
before the war ended.
Hawai'i played a crucial role as the hub of the Pacific campaigns. The training and development, command and control, supplies and equipment, medical treatment, repair and replacement
that Hawai'i contributed were vital to the United States' success in the war against Japan.
Original text for the exhibit pages was provided
by Barbara Mills.