Did you know?

Famous Black NYC Guard Unit Guarded MCAS Ewa

After the war started tons of troops were sent to Oahu and among them was a Federalized NYC Harlem guard unit sent to Oahu to man Anti-Aircraft Artillery batteries.

The 369th was a very famous WW-I Infantry unit converted to AA and stationed around Oahu. These photos are all most certainly Army Signal Corps and should be in some archives.

Hard to tell where these were taken. But local Ewa Villagers describe the Army AA camp right near C Camp and Mill Camp. I have air photos showing this camp and some remnants may still be there. It has never had any historic or archeological surveys. I am meeting with some key people about this next week and will also make sure our politicians know.

The soldiers Ewa Villagers say were all “jive talkers” and would invite villagers over to watch movies at a small outdoor stage – much like what early Ewa Field also had. One of my really good Ewa Villager story tellers said he used to shine their shoes near the Ewa Field front gate and see them at the Ewa Plantation pool.

Despite being a segregated Army unit, in Hawaii they were all treated equally in restaurants, bars, buses, etc. This was an official Army Martial Law policy in Hawaii. 

FDR’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt also made sure black (then colored) soldiers play important recognized wartime roles in National Defense and she did visit Hawaii more than once and likely toured where these units were stationed in Ewa. FDR visited Ewa in 1944.

John Bond
Ewa Historian

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