HAWAII'S SECOND TACTICAL CARGO JET ARRIVES
GREGG K. KAKESAKO / GKAKESAKO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, left, and Medal of Honor recipient Shizuya Hayashi got to watch the takeoff yesterday from Long Beach, Calif., from the cockpit of the second C-17 Globemaster cargo jet destined for Hickam, piloted by Hawaii Air Guard Maj. Bob Chowhoy, left, and Air Force Capt. Scott Carroll.
Hauling heavy history
A WWII veteran riding Hickam's new C-17 suggests it be named for the 442nd's motto
» "Hickam One -- Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" misses Philippine trip
LONG BEACH, Calif. » Eighty-eight year-old World War II Medal of Honor winner Shizuya Hayashi says it would be appropriate for the Air Force to name a C-17 Globemaster cargo jet at a Hawaii base the "Spirit of Go For Broke."
"Go for Broke" is the slogan of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Army unit of nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans, in which Hayashi served. It emerged from World War II as one of the most decorated units in the Army.
WHAT IT TAKES TO ASSEMBLE A $200 MILLION C-17 GLOBEMASTER
Time: Nine months
Duration: 150,000 hours
Factory floor space: 1.1 million square feet at Boeing Co.'s Long Beach facility in Southern California
Fasteners: 1.3 million
Wiring: 120 miles
Source: Boeing Co.
Hayashi has a lot of support, starting with Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, who heads the Hawaii Air and Army National Guard, and wants the tribute to be extended to the Army Reserve's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, which returned from Iraq in January after a year of combat duty.
Earlier this week, Hayashi was among the 30 political, business and military leaders taken to the Globemaster manufacturer Boeing Co.'s C-17 plant here on a Hawaii Air Guard KC-135 jet Stratotanker. Also part of the delegation was Allen Kellogg, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War.
When the delegation arrived Monday, it toured the 1.1 million-square-foot plant, which is capable of assembling one 174-foot Globemaster every nine months.
Hickam Air Force Base's new unit -- made up of active-duty Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard pilots, loadmasters and mechanics -- will get eight of these cargo planes by October. Its first one arrived at Hickam on Feb. 8.
Yesterday, Hayashi and the rest of the Hawaii delegation got to make the 5- 1/2 hour trip from Long Beach on Hickam's second C-17. It was blessed by the Rev. Ray Ganotise, who is also a retired member of the Hawaii Air Guard, during a brief Hickam arrival ceremony.
GREGG K. KAKESAKO / GKAKESAKO@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Rev. Ray Ganotise, a retired Hawaii Air National Guard airman, blessed the C-17, one of eight that will be flown by a squadron of active-duty Air Force and Hawaii Air Guard pilots.
Tim Miller, Boeing's production operations manager, said the Southern California plant has a current Pentagon contract to build 180 Globemasters for the Air Force and four others for the United Kingdom.
The C-17 cargo jets are assembled here, but parts of the aircraft, like the cockpit, are built elsewhere, such as St. Louis, he said. Boeing has suppliers in 42 states who employ 25,000 workers.
"Boeing is now building 15 aircraft a year," Miller said during a tour of the plant on Monday, "but it has the capacity to build 29 a year."
Boeing is now lobbying Congress to approve funding to build 42 more Globemasters.
As the Hawaii delegation boarded Hickam's second C-17, it got a glimpse of the third one, which is scheduled to leave here in three weeks.
Hayashi was one of the original members of the 100th Battalion, which later merged with the 442nd and fought in Italy and France. Members of the Army Reserve's 100th Battalion still carry the colors Hayashi fought under, and maintain their motto "Go for Broke," which means shoot the works. Hayashi was drafted and reported to the 100th Battalion in March 1941. Two years later in Italy, he led a charge where he killed 20 Germans and captured four prisoners.
Cliff Tanigawa, who has worked for Boeing for the past 15 years, had proposed that Hickam's first C-17 honor soldiers of the 442nd. "I've seen airplanes with names like 'spirit of' this and 'spirit of' that, so I thought, why not 'Spirit of Go For Broke?'"
Tanigawa, who doesn't have any relatives who served with the 442nd, said Lee told him yesterday during a breakfast ceremony that "it looks encouraging for the next set of aircraft." Hickam Air Force Base's first C-17 is called "Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha." The Globemaster that arrived yesterday is still to be named.
Tanigawa said his main wish was "to honor the veterans" whose heroism he learned about after visiting the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles.
Maj. Gen Darryll Wong, who commands the Hawaii Air Guard, also believes it would be a fitting tribute to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who lost his right arm fighting the Germans with the 442nd and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service.
"It was Sen. Inouye who in 1992 first proposed a squadron of C-17s here," Wong said yesterday.
Hayashi told the Star-Bulletin that naming a C-17 after the 442nd's motto would be "a nice tribute to the veterans of the 100th Battalion and the 442nd and a nice way to perpetuate their legacy."
Plane misses Philippine trip
A computer glitch leads to a C-17 switch for the crew's first humanitarian mission
A crew of active-duty Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard cargo jet pilots and loadmasters went on their first humanitarian mission on a C-17 Globemaster cargo plane, but not the new one they had been assigned to fly.
Col. William Changose, commander of the 15th Airlift Wing, said the C-17, which arrived here Feb. 8, couldn't fly to the Philippines to deliver supplies to victims of the mudslides Sunday because of a malfunctioning computer.
The culprit was a system about the size of a backpack called the aircraft propulsion data management computer. It tracks things like fuel flow and the performance of the four jet engines to ensure that they are not icing over or stalling.
There are two in Hickam's C-17, which is one of the newest models manufactured by Boeing Co. Only the latest versions of the cargo jets have these computer systems, Changose said.
One of the two computers failed on Sunday, and a replacement had to be flown in from California. Changose said the cargo jet could fly, "but we didn't have a backup, and we don't leave home station without one."
He added: "It is like going out on a major road trip without a spare tire."
Changose, who closely monitored the situation while he was in Long Beach this week to be part of the delegation that picked up Hickam's second C-17 yesterday, said the humanitarian mission was conducted with another Globemaster cargo jet from South Carolina that was here on a training mission.
The computer part arrived Monday night, but by then the decision had been made to allow the Hickam-based crew to fly the relief mission using the South Carolina cargo jet.
"The mission was more important. ... It was just a matter of timing ... just a few hours."
"Had this been a month from now," Changose added, "and all our spare parts were in, it wouldn't have been a problem."
However, Changose said "Hickam One -- Spirit of Hawaii-Ke Aloha" is now repaired and ready to fly.