In the Military
For and about Hawaii's servicemen and women

By Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit

Surviving WWII vessel
sought for Arkansas exhibit

The city of North Little Rock, Ark., which wants to berth one of the last surviving vessels of the Pearl Harbor attack, already has gotten approval to acquire the World War II submarine Razorback.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Mayor Patrick Henry Hayes said the sub will become a part of a riverfront attraction on the Arkansas River across from the future Clinton Presidential Library next spring. North Little Rock, along with a group from Hawaii, also wants the tugboat Hoga.

The Navy sold the Razorback to Turkey in 1970. Since then, it has been part of the Turkish navy under the name of the Murat Reis. It was decommissioned March 1, and Turkey agreed last month to donate it to the United States so it could be displayed in North Little Rock.

A decision by the Navy on the future of the Hoga, which is berthed in the Navy's Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Suisun Bay north of San Francisco, is expected next year. The Hoga was sent to Suisun Bay when it was retired in 1996 after serving for five decades as a fireboat for the city of Oakland, Calif. It has been designated a national monument.

Hawaii backers of the Hoga want to use areas near Halawa Landing or the site of the old Ford Island ferrying dock between the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Museum. However, the Navy has rejected that proposal.

The 311-foot-long Razorback was among 12 craft present during the 1945 Japanese surrender ceremonies that ended World War II. The submarine was named for a reddish whale, not the University of Arkansas sports teams.

The two vessels would be adjacent to or near a planned $5 million state Game and Fish Commission Nature Center, a possible aquarium and hotel complex and Alltel Arena -- all next to the Interstate 30 river bridge in North Little Rock.

Lt. Gen. Michael Hagee, who served as the Pacific Command's director for strategic plans and policies under Adm. Dennis Blair in 1998, will become the next commandant of the Marine Corps.

Hagee now commands 45,000 Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., as the leader of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He would replace Gen. James L. Jones when he leaves the job, probably early next year. President Bush has nominated Jones to be the supreme NATO military commander. Hagee, 57, also was the deputy director for operations of the Pentagon's European Command, from 1996 to 1998.

The back-to-back appearances in his campaign schedule aren't much of a change from the public tours retired Adm. Charles Larson said he took when he was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command. "I'd do five or six events in a day, and then have an evening social event," said Larson, who is running for lieutenant governor in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported. "The difference is that back then, I sometimes had to fly 6,000 miles to get to the first event. Everything in Maryland is a lot closer."

Two months ago, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Kennedy Townsend tapped the former Pacific Forces commander to be her running mate. Besides commanding military forces in the Pacific from 1991-94, Larson, 65, was superintendent of the Naval Academy for two tours and deputy chief of naval operations.

Takashi Hirose "Halo" Hirose, champion swimmer and a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion, died of a heart attack on Aug. 24 at age 79. Hirose was a top pupil of legendary coach Soichi Sakamoto. Hirose became nationally known in the world of swimming, the result of several AAU, Big Ten Conference and NCAA championships.

The Hawaii Swim Web page says Hirose was in one of the earliest replacement groups in the 100th. From Camp Shelby, where he was attached to Company M, 3rd Battalion, he was transported across the Atlantic. Once in Italy, his assignment was the D Company. After fighting at Anzio and France at Bruyeres and the Vosges, he was discharged from the Army and then went on to Ohio State University.

The Navy Jack, instead of the Union Jack, should be flown on all Navy ships as of Sept. 11 to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks. In his message ordering the change, Adm. Vern Clark, the chief of naval operations, said: "The first Navy Jack is a flag consisting of a rattlesnake, superimposed across 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes with the motto 'don't tread on me.'

The jack was first employed by Commodore Esek Hopkins in the fall of 1775 as he readied the continental Navy in the Delaware River. His signal for the whole fleet to engage the enemy was the striped jack and ensign flown at their proper places." The Union Jack is a banner of blue with 50 white stars replicating the U.S. flag's canton and was adopted in 1777.

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

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