HAWAI'I'S MILITARY HERITAGE IS RICHLY DIVERSE.
If you visit the U.S. Army Museum of Hawai’i in Honolulu, you will find these exhibits and much more. This is just a sample of what the museum has to offer. We hope that you’ll visit us soon!
Battery Randolph was built in 1911 as a key part of the “Ring of Steel” which encircled the island of O’ahu to defend against attack by sea. Its solid concrete walls could withstand a direct hit from a 2000-pound artillery shell. Its primary mission was the defense of Pearl Harbor and Honolulu from attacking battleships.
Hawaiians first sailed to their islands nearly a 1000 years before Columbus’ time, and developed a social structure, and religious and military systems. Temples were built and the gods were consulted for auspicious times to fight. Elaborate preparations for war included sacrifices, prayers, and orations offered to the gods.
Hawaii On Defense
Just after noon on December 7th, at the urging of the Army’s commander, Lieutenant General Short, and with the concurrence of the President of the United States, Hawai’i’s Territorial Governor Poindexter proclaimed martial law. Military officers moved into Iolani Palace and assumed all legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
Hawaiʻi’s Japanese Americans
The war immediately raised the loyalty question of Hawai’i’s 160,000 ethnic Japanese, one-third of the population. After the attack, 1,400 suspects were arrested and interned in camps, but sheer logistics prevented the mass relocation that was imposed on mainland Japanese. When three hundred Territorial Guardsmen of Japanese ancestry were dismissed from service, half of them joined the Varsity Victory Volunteers. While 1,500 National Guardsmen continued to serve under constant scrutiny, no more Japanese-Americans were allowed to enlist.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War had a profound impact on the United States. Though begun with a small contingent of advisors, the conflict escalated from 1964 through 1968. More and more American soldiers and resources poured into Vietnam. Unlike Korea, Americans faced an unconvenional enemy in a war without front lines, where objectives were obscure and the danger contstant.
Gallery of Heroes
The Gallery of Heroes at U. S. Army Museum of Hawaii was conceived in 1980 by Major General Herbert E. Wolff, US Army, Ret., to honor Hawaii’s citizens who served in the Nation’s defense. The focus of the Gallery is on the recipients of the Nation’s two highest awards of valor, the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, or its equivalents, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross.
Defending an Island
In 1906 the Taft Board recommended a system of Coast Artillery batteries to protect strategic Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. The original plan called for six 12-inch rifles, four 6-inch rapid fire rifles, and sixteen 12-inch mortars.