DVIDS – News – U.S. Pacific Fleet honors Sons of Hawaii with first and last Arizona relic

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean La Marr, Navy Reserve – Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Pacific

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (December 23, 2021) – Hawaiian culture is a blend of age-old ethnic influences, music, language and age-old legends. More than the welcoming beaches, which continue to dazzle millions of tourists each year, Hawaii instills a rich tapestry of customs and traditions in those who grew up on one of its islands. And for these, a popular Hawaiian proverb says, “It is through the way you serve others that your greatness will be felt.”

This saying, which inspires a sense of selfless duty, is particularly illustrated by the service of two sons of Hawaii: Retired Rear Admiral Gordon Paiʻea Chung-Hoon and the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye.

Born in the first quarter of the 20th century in Honolulu, Hawaii Territory, Chung-Hoon and Inouye would learn the lessons of their childhood in Aloha State and apply them to the vast public service to which they have dedicated their lives.

Chung-Hoon, born July 25, 1910, attended Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the state’s most prestigious private schools, where he prepared for the United States Naval Academy.

Son of William Chung-Hoon, Jr., and Agnes Akau (McInerny) Chung-Hoon, he left home and entered the Naval Academy on June 16, 1930. He spent four years away from the island. heavenly and in the cool climate of Annapolis, Maryland. There he obtained his ensigning commission in the United States Navy, graduating on May 31, 1934.

On that day, he made history as the first Asian American graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

Chung-Hoon flew his first missions on the USS Indianapolis (CA35), the USS Montgomery (DD121) and the USS Dent (DD116) before his service aboard the USS Arizona (BB39) where he was located this fateful day, December 7, 1941. His service continued throughout WWII, earning a Silver Star and a Navy Cross as commanding officer of the USS Sigsbee (DD502) from 1944 to 1945. His citation detailed his extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.

“Although his ship sustained significant damage when struck by an enemy aircraft and all power was lost, Cmdr. Chung-Hoon coolly executed defensive maneuvers and directed his anti-aircraft batteries for prolonged and effective fire against the enemy’s continued air attack, ”the quote from Chung’s Navy Cross reads. -Hoon. “Subsequently, he supervised the damage control procedures which enabled his vessel to be put in seaworthy condition for a safe return to port with its own restored power. Commander Chung-Hoon’s fighting spirit, courage and unwavering dedication were in keeping with the highest traditions of United States naval service.

During World War II, Daniel K. Inouye had a similar experience, despite his young age. Born September 7, 1924, Inouye, an American of Japanese descent, attended President William McKinley High School in Honolulu.

The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, expressed his admiration for the commissioning of the USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) on December 8, 2021.

“He will always serve as a pole star for our military and for me personally,” said Del Toro. “Like me, he was a child of immigrants.

Eventually, reaching the post of US Senator for Hawaii, Inouye endured and overcame many of the challenges that accompanied his newly immigrated family from Japan. Her father was a first generation and her mother a second generation immigrant to Hawaii. When families settled in this new nation, they worked as farm laborers on a local sugar cane plantation and did not speak English. Their hard work provided their children with better educational opportunities and a bright future.

“My father often said his story is improbable. He came from a background that was quite challenged ”, declared Mr. Ken Inouye, son of the senator, during the commissioning of the USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118). “Imagine a guy with that kind of difficult background, whose parents weren’t even allowed to become naturalized citizens because of the anti-immigration laws of the day. A man who after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he and other Americans of Japanese descent were not allowed to serve because they were considered enemy aliens.

On the day of the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, Daniel K. Inouye was just a 17-year-old medical volunteer leading a first aid team. He and his team came to the aid of civilian victims of the attack.

This voluntary service was, unfortunately, the only way it could be used. Months after the attack, a ban on all U.S. citizens serving of Japanese descent went into effect, from 1942 to 1944.

After the ban was lifted in 1944 by the US military, Inouye’s character and commitment began to shine. Putting his medical studies on hold at the University of Hawaii, he volunteered, along with many other Japanese Americans, to put himself in danger to serve and defend the country they cherished.

“They believed in America when America didn’t believe in them,” Ken Inouye said.

Inouye served in the 442nd Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, a unit known to be one of the most decorated in United States history while being almost entirely made up of second-generation Japanese Americans. For his heroism in combat, which cost him his right arm, Inouye received the Medal of Honor.

“I gave this arm to fight the fascists,” Inouye said at a campaign rally in 1954. “If my country wants the other to fight the communists, it can have it. What are you ready to give? ”

Del Toro described how Inouye’s life and service should inspire future generations to lean on, detailing the importance of her service and sacrifice in the face of discrimination and injustice.

“Amidst the hostility and mistreatment of Japanese Americans during World War II, you are lucky that Daniel Inouye always chose to serve,” said Del Toro. “We cannot fully realize the legacy of Daniel Inouye until all Americans feel welcome and valued in our country’s military. We must recruit, retain, mentor, educate and promote the best in our country. This includes all of the Daniel Inouye our country has to offer.

In 2021, the U.S. Pacific Fleet sought to honor the service and sacrifice of these two men after the vast contributions made to their country by featuring their namesake, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and the ‘USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), with the first and last relics of the USS Arizona Superstructure Relic Program (BB-39).

The USS Arizona Superstructure Relic Program (BB-39) (ASRP) strives to connect today’s Sailors with the courageous people who came before them by providing a section of the Arizona Superstructure that had been removed from the ship during the construction of the Arizona Memorial. The ASRP presented all ships and submarines in the US Pacific Fleet with a piece of Arizona.

The Naval History and Heritage Command authorized the removal of sections of the relics for display and heritage enhancement purposes in 1994. The U.S. Pacific Fleet expanded the program by creating exhibits designed to connect Sailors to ‘today to the historical significance of our past.

USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) received the first display of relics during an onboard ceremony May 21, 2021.

“As a member of the USS Chung-Hoon, we have a unique bond with the USS Arizona. In the sense that our namesake, Admiral Gordon Chung-Hoon was a shipping company aboard the USS Arizona at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, ”said Lt. jg Allison Baglin, Counter Terrorism Officer, USS Chung- Hoon (DDG 93). “With this close bond, we continue his legacy and the Arizona legacy by having the relic on board.”

“I think the relic itself is a symbol of Arizona’s fighting spirit and a constant daily reminder of the millions of men and women who have worn the nation’s uniform before us,” said Cmdr . David C. Hollon, commanding officer of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93).

USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) was presented his relic during the President’s Reception Dec. 7, 2021, at Joint Base Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii by Adm. Samuel Paparo, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet.

“This relic represents the fighting spirit of the sailors of the USS Arizona. Their legacy lives on throughout the Pacific Fleet, ”said Paparo. “During the attack on Pearl Harbor and beyond, your ship’s namesake and so many others answered the nation’s call when they needed it most, many making the ultimate sacrifice.”

“Each member of the crew represents all that is strong and good in the United States of America,” said Cmdr. Donann Gilmore, commanding officer of USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118). “The ship is honored to have a part of the USS Arizona, a ship that embodied Inouye’s motto” Go For Broke “to defend our great nation.”

These relics, the first and last of 138, now displayed on their namesake destroyers represent our unwavering respect for the contributions and service of Hawaii-born Americans and their dedication to the country. Rear Admiral Gordon Paiʻea Chung-Hoon and the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye have marked their greatness in the history of the United States.

Date taken: 12.23.2021
Date posted: 12/31.2021 10:07 PM
Story ID: 412296

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