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Hawai‘i Air National Guard at 70

November 4, 2016

Taken from a written history of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard by Chris Casey, who served in the 154th Wing’s Public Affairs Office in the 1980’s.

Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) logoWorld War II end on August 14, 1945 and the troops started coming home to Hawai‘i.

The Territory of Hawai‘i was allocated the World War II 463d Fighter Squadron on May 24, 1946. The 463 FS having served in China as part of Fourteenth Air Force during World War II. The 199th Fighter Squadron was bestowed the lineage, history, honors, and colors of the 463d Fighter Squadron.

Seventy years ago, on August 3, 1946, Hawai‘i Governor Ingram Stainback ordered the Hawaii National Guard reestablished by an Executive Order. Brig. Gen. Fred Mckinney would serve as Adjutant General.

Among these returning elements were four Army Air Force units new to the Hawai‘i National Guard:

199th Fighter Squadron
199th Utility Flight, Detachment C
199th Air Service Group
199th Weather Station

They organized on September 10, 1946 under the Military Department, Territory of Hawai‘i under General Order No. 4. Their temporary headquarters was Honolulu Armory, located on the site of the current State Capitol. Built in the 1800s, the armory was razed to make way for the new State Capitol that opened in the 1960s.

Honolulu Armory in circle

click on photograph to enlarge – Honolulu Armory in circle

The 199th Fighter Squadron and the support units organized at Bellows Field, Waimanalo, Hawai‘i. The first 199 FS commander was Lieutenant Colonel Walter H. Dillingham. He managed Oahu Railway and Land Company, established by his father Benjamin. He later founded the Hawaiian Dredging Company. Dillingham resigned to run of a seat in the Territorial Legislature.

Colonel Dillingham was followed by Maj. William B. Morgan, and later Capt. Frank R. Harlocker.

By the end of October, enough personnel were recruited to meet the minimum requirements for Federal recognition. There were 74 names on the roster, including Capt. Valentine A. Siefermann, the future adjutant general. The Army Air Force team from Hickam Field inspected the units on November 4, 1946 and they were granted Federal recognition.

This date is recognized birthday of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard.

The Hawai‘i Air National Guard has come a long way since 1946. Today, the Hawaii Air National Guard is comprised of nearly 2,500 Airmen whose federal mission is to be trained and available for active duty Air Force operational missions.

Mahalo to everyone who served in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard over the past 70 years.

From → History

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