At Your Service
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, November 25, 2001

See also: For Your Benefit

Ships and crew aid
Japanese fisherman

The Pearl Harbor-based cruiser Lake Erie and other crewmen of the aircraft carrier USS Stennis battle group provided emergency medical assistance Nov. 14 to a 25-year-old Indonesian man, Ibrahim Mansyrur, after receiving a distress call through the U.S. Coast Guard.

A fisherman aboard the Japanese fishing vessel Fukuyo Maru had suffered severe eye injuries after being struck by a fishing line in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 1,000 miles off the California coast.

Carrier Air Wing Nine's Flight Surgeon Lt. Sean Skelton said the fishing vessel reported the injured fisherman was stable enough to remain onboard until daylight, when the evacuation could take place. High seas prevented removing the injured fisherman by helicopter, so Skelton and a corpsman from the Lake Erie took a rigid inflatable boat to the Fukuyo Maru and transported the fisherman back to the Lake Erie where they boarded an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, made a stop aboard the San Diego-based Lake Champlain for fuel, then arrived aboard the Stennis, traveling more than 600 miles and stretching over 24 hours.

Mansyrur was flown off the carrier to shore-based medical facilities in Hawaii for further evaluation and treatment Nov. 16. The John C. Stennis battle group deployed on Nov. 12 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Some 20,000 Iowans have said since January they want to see Waterloo's five Sullivan brothers on Iowa's commemorative U.S. quarter.

They had accumulated 6,500 signatures by mid-March and delivered the first batch of signatures to Gov. Tom Vilsack in March. They hope to present the additional 13,500 to the governor by the end of this month.

Brothers George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert Sullivan, who grew up in Waterloo, died after their ship, the light cruiser Juneau, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk near Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942 -- 59 years ago.

All but 13 of the crew of 700 perished, including all five Sullivans.

The five brothers' deaths are considered to be the greatest combat-related loss of life by one family at one time in American history. The Iowa House and Senate have passed resolutions endorsing the Sullivans appearing on the quarter.

Active-duty Air Force members, selected reserves, civilians and eligible defense contractors began receiving new and "smart" official Department of Defense identification cards Nov. 6. These common access cards, based on smart-card technology, replace the standard military ID card and will be issued to more than 4 million Defense Department employees. The new smart card, about the size of a credit card, contains an integrated circuit chip, linear bar code, two-dimensional bar code, magnetic stripe, color digital photograph and printed information. The card enables cardholders to digitally sign e-mail, encrypt information and establish secure Web sessions to access and update information via the Internet.

The 32nd annual lighting of Hickam Air Force Base's Freedom Tower, transforming it into Oahu's largest Christmas tree, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The 171-foot tower will be decorated with 8,000 multicolored lights. The Pacific Air Forces Band will provide entertainment.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

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