Photos: Courtesy of Marine Corps Base Hawaii
Article Written By: Kathryn Drury Wagner, HONOLULU Magazine
What is it?
The Marine Corps base (MCB) Hawai‘i is home to several hundred historic properties, including three on the 2012 list. They include the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters buildings, built in 1940, and a Marine Air Group Headquarters Building, constructed in 1941. There is also World War II damage to some of the base’s taxiways: bomb craters and possible strafing marks that are apparent damage from the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. The two bomb craters are large, 7 to 11 feet in diameter, says MCB Hawai‘i’s June Cleghorn, senior cultural resources manager in the Environmental Compliance and Protection Department, while smaller pockmarks probably came from the bullets. The holes have been filled with concrete, but the outlines of their original shapes and locations are visible.
What threatens them?
Base Hawai‘i is expanding, welcoming up two squadrons of MV-22 Osprey aircraft and one Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron, starting in 2012 and continuing into 2018. Along with the space needed for the aircraft, the base will also need to reconfigure for 2,128 more personnel and dependents. According to Cleghorn, demolition is planned for no more than six of the 11 total World-War-II-era BEQs and the MAG building. Resurfacing of the taxiways is also planned.
What can be done?
After a two-year review process involving more than 40 consulting parties, the BEQs and MAG building demolitions sound like a done deal.(Though it may not console World-War-II history buffs, the new barracks construction will feature LEED certification standards, including sustainable site development and water and energy efficiency.) The bomb and bullet marks on the ground may be saved. Cleghorn says the Corps recognizes their historic significance and will explore alternatives to repaving.