Serving in Paradise: An Illustrative Narrative of the U.S. Military in Hawaii

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By Chris Cook

Today, Hawaii is home to over 116,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their dependents. Five major installations as well as 137 other facilities are located in the Islands. Proportionately more Hawaii residents serve in our nation's armed forces than for any other state, and there are over 110,000 veterans living in Hawaii. Defense spending adds almost $15 billion to the state's economy, with 18,000 Department of Defense employees. The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard alone employs nearly 5,000 persons.

Yet, even with such a large military presence, for most Americans, knowledge of the U.S. military in Hawaii is limited to the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. And even fewer know that before Hawaii was officially annexed to be part of the U.S. in 1900, American troops had, on two earlier occasions, landed in the Islands.

Serving in Paradise: An Illustrative Narrative of the U.S. Military in Hawaii shows the evolution of the U.S. military presence in the Islands. After Hawaii's annexation by the U.S. the creation of Fortress Oahu began with its coastal artillery batteries and underground tunnels and the development of Pearl Harbor and other major bases. It details the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and wartime Hawaii, including the impact of war on civilian life and the training of armed forces on all of the Islands. Special attention is given to Hawaii's famed 442nd regiment, and there is also coverage of the rich military heritage of The Kingdom of Hawaii with the great battles fought to unify the Islands.

Serving in Paradise also details Hawaii's war memorials and military museums including Punchbowl National Cemetery, the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri, the USS Bowfin, the Pacific Aviation Museum, the U.S. Army Museum in Waikiki and numerous smaller museums. A timeline of military history in Hawaii and a chronology of military bases provide capsule summaries and references to important events. There is also a listing of Medal of Honor winners.

With both vintage and modern photos, Serving in Paradise: An Illustrative Narrative of the U.S. Military in Hawaii brings an important aspect of U.S. and Hawaii history to light showing the mutual importance of the U.S. military to Hawaii and of Hawaii to the U.S. military up to the present time.

Soft cover. 142 pages. Approximately 8.5 inches by 11 inches.

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