My dad was a part of the Amazing Seventh Army Air Corps during World War II.
The Amazing Seventh Army Air Corps
By Richard Mabey Jr.
The Amazing Seventh Army Air Corps was just that: AMAZING! They were stationed at Hickam Air Field, right by Pearl Harbor, during World War II. They may well have had the most amazing “bounce back” spirit of any division of the entire United States Army Air Corps. My dad, many times, told me that the Seventh was a tough division of the old Army Air Corps.
At 17 years old, my dear father arrived at Hickam Air Field. He saw the devastation, the wreckage, the aftermath of man’s inhumanity to man. My beloved dad arrived at Hickam Air Field as a boy. He left Hickam, as a man.
Old Glory still waved high and proud in the midst of the Japanese air attack of December 7, 1941.
There is this tendency to sweep the devastation of Hickam Air Field under the carpet. To somehow believe that because it was so long ago, it belongs in the back pages of our history books. What happened at Hickam Field was real, true and absolutely horrible. A first-rate lesson of the horrors of war.
The devastation to Hickam Air Field was mind boggling. My dad arrived at Hickam to be a part of the team to rebuild the pride and strength of Hickam Air Field.
There is this tendency, by some, to glorify war. As if there really is a winner and a loser. I believe in respecting our flag, I believe in being patriotic; but the sad and sorrowful, horrible truth is that wars are fought at terrible expenses. My dad, all of his life, could not talk about Hickam Field, without getting a little teary eyed. And, my dad was tough as nails.
Bury not the courage of the men and women of the Amazing Seventh Army Air Corps. Forget not the fortitude of Hickam Air Field.
During World War II, Hickam Air Field was home to over 3,000 United States military men. It was a stronghold for the Pacific. My dad often told me that the entire military staff at Hickam Air Field were often under full alert for a second attack by the Japanese. It’s a little known fact that is often quieted and played down.
The Seventh Army Air Corps was an amazing division of the United States Army Air Corps. For it bravely and courageously bounced back from the single most devastating attack on United States soil, that had ever taken placed during the Second World War.
It is painful to take that hard, honest look at the devastation that occurred at Hickam Air Field. I present this photographic look at the devastation of Hickam, not to awaken bad feelings for the Japanese people. Rather, to give us the opportunity to examine within our own hearts the question, how the evil in men’s hearts can turn one man against one another?
With hard work, discipline, dedication and a love for America; the men of the Seventh Army Air Corps brought Hickam Air Field back to life again!
My dad went Home to be with the Lord, 10 years ago. I always, even from early childhood, held a deep appreciation for what Dad endured during World War II. But, I have to confess, that it is only in the past couple of years that I have come to an even deeper and greater appreciation for my dad’s service to America.
Dad standing by a propeller of a B-25 bomber plane at Hickam Air Field, during World War II.
For truly, Dad arrived at Hickam Air Field as a boy. He departed Hickam Air Field as a man.