Wheeler Army Airfield
On your way to Wheeler Army Airfield, your guide will keep you immersed in the history of the era with vintage movie footage playing on the on-board movie screen, as well as pointing out points of interest on the maps and photos that adorn your vans “cabin”.
The next stop on the tour is Wheeler Army Airfield, constructed in 1922, it was the site of several major historic aviation events prior to December 7, 1941. Among them, the first non-stop Mainland to Hawaii flight in 1927, the great Dole Derby air race from California to Hawaii, the first trans-Pacific flight from the U.S. to Australia in 1928, and the first Hawaii-to-Mainland solo flight in 1935 by Amelia Earhart.
On December 7th, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft attacked Wheeler Army Airfield without warning. The main objective of the enemy was to destroy the Hawaiian Air Force, thus eliminating any air opposition so they could cripple the U.S. Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. Your guide will give you an analysis of the Army Air Corp pilots heroic response to the attack while flying against incredible opposition from the enemy. You’ll hear an account of our first two aces of the war, Lt’s Ken Taylor and George Welch.
Wheeler Army Airfield was home to the 15th and the 18th Pursuit Groups, flying P-36’s and P-40’s. Today it is home to the 25th Infantry Aviation Brigade. You can photograph a P-40 World War II fighter plane used in the movie, “Tora Tora Tora” and drive along the flightline where Japanese dive-bombers destroyed and set ablaze hangars while fighters strafed rows of American aircraft neatly positioned on the airfield.
“An outstanding day – both for myself, my wife and my two children. The guides’ enthusiasm and wealth
of knowledge really brought the trip to life. Great use of music and video, we’ll be back again!”
– M. House