The Role Hickam Air Field Played Upon My Dad
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My Dad was 18 years old when he arrived at Hickam Air Field in early 1944. Dad was now part of the great Seventh Army Air Corps. At that point in time, there was no telling how much longer the war with Japan would go on. Hickam Air Field would change my Dad’s perspective on life. In many ways, it gave him the opportunity, to come to know first hand the terrible evil that man can evoke upon man.
A rare aerial view of Hickam Air Field, taken during the time of World War II.
Hickam Air Field had been hit during the Japanese air attack of December seventh of 1941. Hickam Air Field is adjoined with Pearl Harbor. The Japanese did not want the United States Army Air Corps to follow their planes back to Japan, after their attack. So, they hit Hickam hard and mean, destroying scores of American fighter planes and bomber planes.
A photo of the back of a B-25 Bomber Plane at Hickam Air Field, during the time of World War II.
In my book, “I Remember Dad,” I’ve written over 80 typed pages about Dad’s stay at Hickam Air Field. I know that it was unnerving for Dad. Mainly because there were a lot of rumors, at the time, that the Japanese were planning to attack Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Field again. Dad once told me that he and his fellow service men were always on full alert for another surprise attack to take place.
A photo of how the main entrance way to Hickam Air Field looked during World War II.
One of the things, that I have thought about a lot, in writing this particular chapter of my book, is how it must have been for Dad to fall asleep at night, each and every night, knowing that there could very well be another air strike that might take place in the midst of the night. My Dad said that things were very tense at Hickam Air Field, during the war. There was an unspoken uneasy feeling that was felt by both, the enlisted men and the officers at Hickam Air Field.
A photo showing the inside of the barracks of Hickam Air Field during World War II.
In writing this chapter of “I Remember Dad,” I thought it important to put emphasis upon what Dad endured during his time at Hickam Air Field. Now, with over 80 pages written, I realize that I have to cut a lot out. I worked on it a lot today. Still, it is so very difficult to decide what stays and what goes. Not easy at all.
Another rare photo of Hickam Air Field, taken during World War II. This photo shows the outside of one of the barracks.
In many ways, I wish I had the luxury to publish an entire book just about Dad’s time at Hickam Air Field, during World War II. But, alas, that is just not possible. So, I drudge on, doing my best to decide what to cut and what to keep for “I Remember Dad.” I never had any idea that the process of getting a book published was so incredibly difficult.