Hickam Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The base merged with the Naval Station Pearl Harbor to become part of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam. The base neighbors Honolulu International Airport and currently shares runways with the airport for its activities and purposes.
Hickam Air Force Base
Bullet holes still visible
|Nearest city||Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|NRHP reference #||85002725|
|Added to NRHP||September 16, 1985|
|Designated NHLD||September 16, 1985|
Hickam Air Force Base
Part of United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Operator||United States Air Force|
|Location||Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA|
|Elevation AMSL||13 ft / 4 m|
Hickam is home to the 15th Wing (15 WG) and 67 partner units including Headquarters of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Hawaii Air National Guard and the 154th Wing (154 WG) of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Air Mobility Command's 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW) provides tactical and strategic airlift within the Pacific region.
In addition, Hickam supports 140 tenant and associate units.
The 15th Wing is composed of four groups each with specific functions. The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) controls all flying and airfield operations. The 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG) performs aircraft and aircraft ground equipment maintenance. The 15th Mission Support Group (15 MSG) has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. The 15th Medical Group (15 MDG) provides medical and dental care.
The 535th Airlift, 96th Air Refueling, and 19th Fighter Squadrons are each hybrid units joined with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 204th Airlift, 203rd Air Refueling, and 199th Fighter Squadrons, respectively. These units are structured according to the Total Force Integration (TFI) concept, and as such have both an active duty Commander and a Guard Commander. They share missions as well as equipment.
In 1934, the Army Air Corps saw the need for another airfield in Hawaii when Luke Field on Ford Island became too congested for both air operations and operation of the Hawaiian Air Depot. 2,225 acres (9.00 km2) of land and fishponds adjacent to John Rodgers Airport and Fort Kamehameha were purchased by the War Department from the Bishop, Damon and Queen Emma estates for a new air depot and air base at a cost of $1,095,543.78. It was the largest peacetime military construction project in the United States to that date and continued through 1941.
The Quartermaster Corps was assigned the job of constructing a modern airdrome from tangled algaroba brush and sugar cane fields adjacent to Pearl Harbor. Planning, design, and supervision of construction were all conducted by Capt. Howard B. Nurse of the QMC. The site consisted of ancient, emerged coral reef covered by a thin layer of soil, with the Pearl Harbor entrance channel and naval reservation marking its western and northern boundaries, John Rodgers Airport (HIA today) to the east, and Fort Kamehameha on the south. The new airfield was dedicated on 31 May 1935 and named in honor of Lt Col Horace Meek Hickam, a distinguished aviation pioneer who was killed in an aircraft accident the previous November 5 when his Curtiss A-12 Shrike, 33-250, hit an obstruction during night landing practice on the unlighted field at Fort Crockett in Galveston, Texas and overturned. Construction was still in progress when the first contingent of 12 men and four aircraft under the command of 1st Lt Robert Warren arrived from Luke Field on September 1, 1937.
Hickam Field was completed and officially activated on September 15, 1938. By November 1939 all Air Corps troops and activities—including most facilities such as the chapel, enlisted housing, and theater, which were dismantled and ferried in sections across the channel—had transferred from Luke Field with the exception of the Hawaiian Air Depot, which required another year to move. In early 1939 construction began on the main barracks, a single three-story nine-winged structure to house 3,200 men at a cost of $1,039,000. Personnel began moving into the barracks in January 1940, and by its completion on 30 September 1940, it was fully occupied and the largest structure of any kind on an American military installation. It included barber shops, a 24-hour medical dispensary, a laundry, a post exchange, multiple squadron dayrooms, and a massive consolidated mess hall at its center, and thus was dubbed the "Hickam Hotel".
Hickam was the principal army airfield in Hawaii and the only one large enough to accommodate the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. In connection with defense plans for the Pacific, aircraft were brought to Hawaii throughout 1941 to prepare for potential hostilities. The first mass flight of bombers (21 B-17Ds) from Hamilton Field, California arrived at Hickam on 14 May 1941. By December, the Hawaiian Air Force had been an integrated command for slightly more than one year and consisted of 754 officers and 6,706 enlisted men, with 233 aircraft assigned at its three primary bases: Hickam, Wheeler Field (now Wheeler Army Airfield), and Bellows Field (now Bellows Air Force Station).
When the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Oahu on 7 December 1941, its planes bombed and strafed Hickam to eliminate air opposition and prevent American aircraft from following them back to their aircraft carriers. Hickam suffered extensive damage and aircraft losses, with 189 people killed and 303 wounded. Notable casualties included nine Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) firefighters (three killed, six injured) who fought fires at Hickham during the attack; they later received Purple Hearts for their heroic actions that day in peacetime history, the only firefighters awarded as such to date.
During World War II, the base became a major center for training pilots and assembling aircraft. It also served as the hub of the Pacific aerial network, supporting transient aircraft ferrying troops and supplies to—and evacuating wounded from—the forward areas—a role it would reprise during the Korean and Vietnam wars and earning it the official nickname "America's Bridge Across the Pacific".
After World War II, the Air Force in Hawaii consisted primarily of the Air Transport Command and its successor, the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), until 1 July 1957 when Headquarters Far East Air Forces completed its move from Japan to Hawai‘i and was redesignated the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The 15th Air Base Wing, host unit at Hickam AFB, supported the Apollo astronauts in the 1960s and 1970s; Operation Homecoming (return of prisoners of war from Vietnam) in 1973; Operation Babylift / New Life (movement of nearly 94,000 orphans, refugees, and evacuees from Southeast Asia) in 1975; and NASA's space shuttle flights in the 1980s and 1990s. Hickam is home to the 65th Airlift Squadron which transports theater senior military leaders throughout the world in the C-37B and C-40 Clipper aircraft. In mid-2003, the 15th Air Base Wing (15 ABW) was converted to the 15th Airlift Wing (15 AW) as it prepared to beddown and fly the Air Force's newest transport aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster III. The first Hickam-based C-17 arrived in February 2006, with seven more to follow during the year. The C-17s will be flown by the 535th Airlift Squadron.
On September 16, 1985, the Secretary of the Interior designated Hickam AFB a National Historic Landmark, recognizing its key role in the World War II Pacific campaign. A bronze plaque reflecting Hickam's "national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America" took its place among other memorials surrounding the base flagpole. Dominating the area is a large bronze tablet engraved with the names of those who died as a result of the 1941 attack. Other reminders of the attack can still be seen. Bullet holes mark many buildings in use, including World War II era hangars and the base hospital., including the tattered American flag that flew over the base that morning. It is on display in the lobby of the Pacific Air Forces Headquarters building, whose bullet-scarred walls (the structure was a barracks and mess hall known as "the Big Barracks" in 1941) have been carefully preserved as a reminder to never again be caught unprepared.
On 22 March 1955, a United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster on descent to a landing in darkness and heavy rain strayed off course and crashed into Pali Kea Peak in the southern part of Oahu's Waianae Range, killing all 66 people on board. It remains the worst air disaster in Hawaii's history and the deadliest heavier-than-air accident in the history of U.S. naval aviation.
Hickam Air Force Base consists of 2,850 acres (11.5 km2), valued at more than $444 million. It was originally bounded on the north by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, on the west by the Pearl Harbor entrance channel, on the south by Fort Kamehameha, and on the east by the airport complex. The original main gate is reached via Nimitz Highway (Hawaii Route 92) from Honolulu, and it shares its western terminus with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard's main gate. This part of Nimitz Highway can be reached from the expressway Interstate H-1 (Exit 15) southeast from Halawa or west from Honolulu (Exit 15B) and from Kamehameha Highway (State Hawaii Route 99), the eastern termination of which is at Nimitz Highway.
The 154th Wing (154 WG) is a unit of the Hawaii Air National Guard, stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii. If activated to federal service, the Wing is placed under the command of the Pacific Air Forces.15th Operations Group
The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) is the flying component of the 15th Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Thirteenth Air Force. The group is stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. It is also responsible for managing operational matters at Bellows Air Force Station, Hawaii and Wake Island Airfield.
The 15th Operations Group has three operational squadrons assigned flying C-17, KC-135, F-22, C-40B, and C-37A aircraft along with an operational support squadron supporting the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command and the Commander, Pacific Air Forces.17th Operational Weather Squadron
The 17th Operational Weather Squadron (17 OWS) is a unit of the military of the United States. Based at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, it covers weather in largest geographical area in the world.204th Airlift Squadron
The 204th Airlift Squadron (204 AS) is a unit of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Wing stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii. The 204th is equipped with the C-17 Globemaster III.20th Operational Weather Squadron
The 20th Operational Weather Squadron which provided forecasts for the Air Force and Army in Japan and South Korea, is now inactive following the transfer of its mission to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii on April 17, 2006.291st Combat Communications Squadron
The United States Air Force's 291st Combat Communications Squadron is an Air National Guard combat communications unit located at Keaukaha Military Reservation in Hilo, Hawaii.50th Military Airlift Squadron
The 50th Military Airlift Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was to the 1502d Air Transport Wing, Military Air Transport Service, stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
It was inactivated on 8 January 1966.515th
515th may refer to:
515th Air Defense Group, disbanded United States Air Force (USAF) organization
515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW), part of Air Mobility Command, stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
515th Bombardment Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit
515th Parachute Infantry Regiment (United States), Regiment of the US Army during the Second World War
515th Strategic Fighter Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group
The United States Air Force's 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group is an intelligence unit located at Beale AFB, California.
The group was first activated as the 6th Photographic Technical Squadron in November 1943. After training in the United States, it deployed to the Southwest Pacific Theater, serving in the Pacific until VJ Day. After the end of World War II the squadron remained in the Far East, serving in the occupation forces in Japan. It was still in Japan as the 548th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, when the Korean War began in June 1950. It supported reconnaissance units in Japan until inactivated in 1960.
The squadron was activated to support Pacific Air Forces at Hickam Air Force Base in October 1965. As the Vietnam War increased the need for photographic interpretation, it expanded to become a group two years later. The 548th continued to serve in the Pacific until inactivating in 1992.
As the 548th Air Intelligence Group the unit was activated in August 1992, supporting Air Combat Command intelligence requirements until October 1994 when it was again inactivated. Its most recent activation at Beale Air Force Base took place in October 2003.57th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
The 57th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force squadron. Its last assignment was with the 9th Weather Reconnaissance Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where it was inactivated on 10 November 1969.Air Force–Hawaii football rivalry
The Air Force–Hawaii football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Air Force Falcons and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The Kuter Trophy is awarded to the winner of the game. The trophy is named after General Laurence S. Kuter, who was appointed the first head of the Pacific Air Forces Command (located at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu) in 1957. The two teams have met 21 times, with Air Force leading the series 13–7–1.Hawaii Air Depot Volunteer Corps
The Hawaii Air Depot Volunteer Corps (HADVC) was a civilian Paramilitary unit at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii during World War II. The HADVC took on a wide variety of roles helping in the routine operations of the airfield. Along with the Businessmen's Military Training Corps (BMTC), Hawaii Defense Volunteers, Women's Army Volunteer Corps (WAVC), 1st Oahu Volunteer Infantry, and 2nd Oahu Volunteer Infantry, they formed the Organized Defense Volunteer Regiments. Surprisingly for a civilian militia, they had anti-aircraft guns in their arsenal.Hickam Housing, Hawaii
Hickam Housing is a census-designated place comprising part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The population was 6,920 at the 2010 census. The CDP occupies the area that was formerly Hickam Air Force Base.John G. Lorber
General John George Lorber (born December 25, 1941) served as commander of Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. As commander, he had responsibility for Air Force activities spread over half the world in a command that supports 44,000 Air Force people serving principally in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, South Korea and Japan.Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam
Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam (JBPHH) (IATA: HNL, ICAO: PHNL, FAA LID: HNL) is a United States military base adjacent to Honolulu, Hawaii. It is an amalgamation of the United States Air Force Hickam Air Force Base and the United States Navy Naval Station Pearl Harbor, which were merged in 2010.Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam is one of 12 Joint Bases the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission created.It is part of Navy Region Hawaii and provides Navy and joint operations Base Operating Support that is capabilities-based and integrated.Joseph J. Nazzaro
General Joseph James Nazzaro (March 21, 1913 – February 5, 1990) was commander in chief of Pacific Air Forces with headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command.Kamehameha Highway
Kamehameha Highway is one of the main highways serving suburban and rural O‘ahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Starting from Nimitz Highway near Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, it serves the island's older western suburbs, turning north across the O‘ahu Central Valley to the North Shore. At the North Shore, Kamehameha Highway heads northeast around the northern tip of O‘ahu, then southeast to and just beyond Kāne‘ohe Bay on the windward coast. The road was named after King Kamehameha I.A short detached segment of the Kamehameha Highway exists for a few blocks in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kalihi. This segment runs as a short extension of Dillingham Boulevard from Puuhale Road (near the Oahu Community Correctional Center) to exit 18B on Interstate H-1. This section was contiguous with the rest of the highway before the construction of the H-1 viaduct.List of HABS/HAER documentation of Hickam Air Force Base
The following is a listing of the documentation available for Hickam Air Force Base, now part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, through the public-domain Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). See separate lists for Pearl Harbor Naval Base, the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station, and Schofield Barracks.Polly Peyer
Polly A. Peyer is a retired Major General in the U.S. Air Force. She previously commanded the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, Georgia.She has served as the Director of Logistics, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. In addition she served as military assistant to the acting Secretary of the Air Force.
Previously: Hawaiian Air Force (1940-1942)
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