Johnson hall Lidi White & Mrs Elizabeth Toulon
Johnson hall Lidi White & Mrs Elizabeth Toulon

Remembering an Unusual Member of the Famous WWII 100th Battalion

Two dorms that were just renovated at the University of Hawaii are named Johnson Hall, but who are they actually named for? Sen. Sam Slom tells the story in his column today in Hawaii Reporter.

John Alexander Johnson, Jr. was a remarkable young man—and war hero – who graduated from Punahou and the University of Hawaii.

While at UH, he was a leading athlete—captain of the football team—and officer in ROTC.

After graduation Johnson joined the National Guard in 1940 and became one of the few non-Nisei members of the famous 100th Battalion.

Johnson was distressed that at the beginning of WWII that the government assigned Americans of Japanese Ancestry only to guard duty, not full military action that they sought.

He asked his wife Elizabeth to write a letter to Washington officials to call for equal treatment of AJAs.

In 1944, at age 30, “Jack” Johnson was killed during the battle of Casino, a pivotal and costly series of battles with the goal of breaking through German lines.

Yesterday his battle for equal treatment and for the veterans of our country were remembered.

See Sen Slom’s full report here and another column he authored today honoring America’s veterans entitled “Veterans Appreciation Day is Every Day.”

Honoring Hawaii’s Heroes Buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Hawaii Reporter has been honored to carry a column for the last 71 weeks by Duane A. Vachon PhD, who works at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

His stories document the lives and heroics of heroes buried at the cemetery in a column called Heroes of the Pacific. They are also sent to thousands of people on Hawaii Reporter’s subscriber list each week.

Special thanks to Vachon and Col. Gene Castagnetti, USMC, Ret., who is the Director of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, for their contributions to Hawaii Reporter, which enable more people to know about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

F-22 Flyover Scheduled for Veterans Day Ceremony at Punchbowl

There will be a F-22 Flyover on Friday, November 11, 2011, around 11 a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu by the 199th Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors in support of Mayor’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Punchbowl.

The fighter jets will fly from Kahala, along H-1, to Punchbowl Crater and along the Koolau mountain range.

Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, the Public Affairs Officer for the Hawaii Air National Guard, said the Veterans Day flyover has been a tradition for decades, however this will be the first time the Hawaii Air National Guard will be supporting it with F-22 aircraft.