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

By Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit

Council resolutions would
honor Korean War hero

Next week the City Council will consider two resolutions that a supporter says will give long-delayed recognition to Korean War Medal of Honor hero Pvt. First Class Herbert Pililaau, killed while defending a ridge in North Korea 51 years ago.

Rudy Liboy, former Waianae resident, said there is a Leeward Oahu community park that bears Pililaau's name, "but that action was never made official by the city. A plaque was erected there by the Waianae Businessmen's Association in 1951, but the park was never formally named.

"This boy died as a Hawaiian hero, and no one here recognized him," said Liboy. "He should be recognized every year in memory of the Korean War."

Besides having the Waianae city park officially named in Pililaau's honor, Liboy also wants the Waianae Recreation Center named after Pililaau. He is pushing a second City Council resolution that asks Hawaii's congressional delegation to pursue a name change with the Pentagon. On Tuesday, the City Council Parks and Public Safety Committee approved both resolutions for action by the full Council on Sept. 25.

Army spokesman Troy Griffin said, "The Army is always pleased when a facility is named after an Army war hero."

Pililaau was 23 on Sept. 17, 1951, when he was killed defending a portion of Heartbreak Ridge. He volunteered to cover the withdrawal of his unit and when his ammunition ran out, he fought the enemy with a trench knife and his fists. Pililaau is credited with 40 enemy dead.

Electronics Technician First Class Timothy Krupka proudly displayed the new Navy Jack aboard the USS Key West on Tuesday. The flag honors those who died last September and will replace the Union Jack on all Navy vessels.

The nuclear attack submarine USS Key West on Tuesday raised the first Navy Jack at Pearl Harbor, which will be flown by all Navy vessels in lieu of the Union Jack. The 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." It honors those who died last September.

Cmdr. Chuck Merkel, Key West's commanding officer, said the sub was conducting a routine transit to the Fifth Fleet when they learned of the Sept. 11 attacks. The submarine was ordered to the North Arabian Sea.

The Pearl Harbor-based nuclear submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) last week launched and recovered the Advanced SEAL Delivery System, marking the last significant test of the system before its operational evaluation. The ASDS is a mini-submarine that can transport Navy SEALs and their combat gear to and from hostile shores for special operations missions. The most recent test involved successful multiple launch and recovery docking scenarios with Greeneville.

The Greeneville and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) are the two Pearl Harbor submarines currently configured and certified to host ASDS. In addition, the Navy's plans to convert four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to guided missile submarines (SSGNs) include the capability for the SSGNs to carry up to two ASDS vehicles.

Moving Up

Pearl Harbor

>> Cmdr. Michael S. Viland has relieved Cmdr. Taylor W. Skardon as commanding officer of the destroyer USS O'Kane.

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

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