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Taps: Paul G. Phillps

October 30, 2016

HIARNG logoPaul G. Phillps, August 21 1922-Octctober 16 2016 Parents Manuel and Gussie Phillips Paul grew up in Kapahulu and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1941.

After graduation, Paul volunteered to serve as a colonist on Jarvis Island in the Central Pacific. The U.S. colonization of Jarvis and other Line Islands began in 1935 and included 130 young men from Hawai’i, who would later become known as the Hui Panala’au.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, eight of the colonists including Paul were stranded on Enderbury and Jarvis Islands until February 1942, when the “Forgotten Eight” were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. The colonization project ended quietly and Paul joined the Army and served in Okinawa.

Following his discharge, Paul attended aeronautical training in California. Returning to Hawai’i in 1947, Paul joined the Army National Guard and was sent to San Marcos, Texas for flight school.

There he married Patricia Lei Knapp. Pat and Paul returned to Hawai’i and Paul went to work as a lead mechanic for Hawaiian Airlines. He later became a full-time National Guardsman and had a distinguished career as a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot, eventually becoming known as “The Governor’s Pilot” for having been the pilot of choice for Governors Quinn, Burns and Ariyoshi. Paul retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1977.

During the latter part of Paul’s retirement, he worked with Noelle Kahanu and others towards gaining State and Federal recognition for the efforts of the Hui Panala’au. Paul was the last known living Hui Panala`au member. Paul and his family have lived in Kailua since 1953. He coached Little League, made fish nets, crabbed, picked ‘opihi, played golf, made feather lei, and was a charter member (1954) of the community club Hui Kaikunane, still in existence today.

Paul’s wife, Pat, and their children, Patti-Paul (Val), Merrillyn (Mario), Michael (Rosie), and Gordon, and his grandchildren, Nakoa, Kahele, Ana, and Kaimana, will forever love him and miss him.

Services: November 3, 11 am, Committal Shelter, Hawai’i State Veterans’ Cemetery, Hawaiian Memorial Park, Kane’ohe. Flowers and lei welcome, or donations to Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, AMVETS, or Disabled American Veterans.

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