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Check Six: Engine Shop Blessing – over 40 years ago

May 3, 2017

Thanks to John “JC” Chun for emailing this photograph and IDs to Retiree News.

click on photograph to enlarge

In the photograph (l-r): Kāhu Charles Yabui in dark suit, Norman Ault, Allen Mizumoto, Ron Cozo, unknown, Bill Austin, John Chun, Larry Kauleinamoku, Ron Miraflor, Wally Yara.

The 154th Fighter Interceptor Group had flown the F-102A Delta Daggers since 1960. The Group was the last Air National Guard unit to fly the F-102A, with the final one leaving service in October 1976. To reflect the change in aircraft and mission, the Group was re-designated the 154th Tactical Fighter Group on June 10, 1976.

The conversion to the F-4C Phantom II was challenging. Most of the aircraft received were used extensively in the Vietnam War. There was a lot of hard work getting these F-4C aircraft up to “Guard standards”. For the engine shop, moving from a single engine to a dual engine aircraft was demanding, with a lot of training and hard knocks along the way.

A Hawaiian blessing was needed and Kāhu Yabui did the service. Charles Yabui was a fulltime radar technician who was ordained a kāhu in 1970 at Ka Hale La‘a O Ierusalema Hou Church in Kalama‘ula, Moloka‘i. Charlie became the Shepherd and Kāhu Kihapai (senior pastor) in 1978 of the Ka Hale Hoano O Ke Akua Church in Kalihi, and continues to serve today.

We don’t remember if he is blessing the technicians, the engines or the whole shop, but situation did improve.

Allen Mizumoto, then a lieutenant colonel, served as the Deputy Commander of Maintenance (DCM). Later in his career, he became the Commander of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard. The general currently resides in the Kāhala area.

Norman Ault, a lieutenant colonel, served as the Chief of Maintenance and Commander of the 154th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The colonel continues to live in Kailua.

William “Bill” Austin, a senior master sergeant, was the engine shop chief. He returned to Oregon after his retirement.

From → History

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