Military history comes alive at Fort DeRussy annual event
May 25, 2012
FORT DERUSSY, Hawaii -- The U.S. Army Museum Hawaii celebrated Armed Forces Day with Living History Day at Battery Randolph, Fort DeRussy, here, Saturday.
Crowds numbering in the hundreds browsed through the static and interactive displays at this 12th annual event, enjoying military memorabilia, restored military vehicles, and today's Army equipment and weapons.
The event attracted visitor's from neighboring hotels, and curious onlookers as they walked from the nearby park and beach. Also, military families stationed here, and local residents interested in military memorabilia attended
Members of Hawaii Historic Arms Association fielded questions about their collection of guns ranging from the antiquated U.S. Model 1816 musket with its flintlock-firing and .69-caliber barrel, to the modern day assault AK-47.
"Our veterans recalled the weapons they trained with and fired when they were in the service and we truly enjoy sharing our knowledge of the historic arms with those that have little knowledge of the history and capabilities of these arms," said Shelton Tyau, member of Hawaii Historic Arms Association.
"We try to emphasize the historical side rather than the shooting aspect of the weapons," he said.
The P-40 airplane simulator, courtesy of the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, attracted young would-be aviators. They waited patiently for a chance to sit and manipulate the flaps, stabilizers, and rudder simulating flying the WWII plane.
For those that did not remember what a P-40 looked like didn't have to go too far as the Birds of Paradise model aircraft club had a large-scale model to view close up. Radio-controlled helicopters hovering center stage Drew cheers from the crowd.
Throughout the day, visitors could listen to the distinct sounds of Scottish bagpipes, performed by the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii or watch classic war films at the Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Basin auditorium. Also, visitors could interact with weapons and tactical vehicles with mounted weapons.
"I really enjoyed learning so much about the protection gear that our Soldiers wear in combat like the camelback water bags that continually hydrate them in extreme weather conditions," said Julia Robins, a visitor from Chicago. "We gained so much more insight to what it is like to be a Soldier in combat."
"This annual event to honor our military on Armed Forces Day is held at the museum grounds located at the Fort DeRussy Recreation Center in the heart of Waikiki," said Judi Bowman, director of U.S. Army Hawaii Museum.
"It is always nice to give back to our military ohana and community," she said. "We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of loyal historical and preservation organizations that make it successful each year."
Those organizations included the Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association; Birds of Paradise Airshow Team; Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.; and the Hawaii Civil War Roundtable.
Active duty organizations included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.