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Alo onmouth
uke in the Sandwich Islands
For others the break would torpedoes rained down on the fleet,
have to wait – others like CPO sinking five out of eight battleships
Martin Clewes, described by the (the other three were damaged),
ship’s Executive Officer Lt Cdr Paul three cruisers, three destroyers and
Bristowe as “one of the heroes of three smaller ships.
the deployment”, who rolled up his Almost 190 aircraft were lost,
sleeves, gathered his team and set to and the death toll on that Sunday
work on an ailing diesel engine on morning was 2,335 Servicemen and
their first evening in port. 68 civilians; 1,177 of the dead were
Many booked into hotels on aboard the 32,000-ton battleship
Waikiki to enjoy the restaurants USS Arizona, which sank in nine
and nightlife, and to swap a narrow minutes following a devastating
bunk for a king-size bed. explosion in a magazine.
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Fewer than 340 men survived.
Cdr Tim Peacock – who has barely Fortuitously, three of America’s
had a break since taking his ship out most valuable assets – the aircraft
of Devonport in February – took a carriers Enterprise, Lexington and
drive around the island of Oahu, Saratoga – were at sea and escaped
and still managed to spot several of the carnage, going on to play their
his crew at various beaches. part in the defeat of Japan.
One key element of the visit Fuel storage tanks also survived
took place early on a Saturday – a glaring tactical error by the
morning, long before the tourists attacking force – but such
began spilling from the buses at considerations were far from the
Pearl Harbor. minds of those who surveyed the
Using a launch laid on by the smoking ruins of the fleet.
US Navy, a party of more than 20
Pearl Harbor has an iconic
officers and ratings from Monmouth
position in the American
crossed the short stretch of water
psyche, at the heart of which
to Battleship Row, just off Ford
lies the graceful bridge-like
● The American and Hawaiian
Island, where eight capital ships
Arizona memorial, which
fl ags fl y over Honolulu (above)
were moored at the beginning of
serves to commemorate all
December 1941.
● Haleakela volcano on the island
who died in the attack.
The might of the Pacific Fleet
of Maui, shrouded in clouds
had sailed to Hawaii as the situation
And Cdr Peacock paid tribute
at an altitude of 10,000ft, from
in the Far East deteriorated, but
to those early American victims of
Monmouth’s Merlin (right)
the ships were ostensibly there to
World War 2, speaking of the sudden
discourage attacks on allies.
and brutal shift from peace to war
is an eerie rusting ring of metal,
No one expected a savage pre-
on that sunny Sunday morning 66
the remains of Number Three gun
emptive strike by Japan on American
years ago.
turret, which is permanently clear
forces – but that is what happened
He also spoke to those gathered
of the water.
early on Sunday December 7, when
of the sacrifices of the other Allied
Homage paid, the British
waves of the Emperor’s bombers hit
nations, including the men of the
returned to their ship and turned
Pearl Harbor.
Royal Navy’s British Pacific Fleet.
their thoughts to the seven-day leg
They found battleships drawn
Having laid a wreath, Cdr
to San Diego, the penultimate port
up in tight lines and aircraft closely
Peacock and his colleagues spent
of call before their return to the
parked on the airfield to defend
some time in contemplation,
West Country early this month.
against sabotage – but that simply
studying the names of the victims
As usual, long sea passages are
made the job of the Japanese
which reflected the melting-pot
put to good use, basically long-
bombardiers easier.
nature of their mother country.
distance patrols as the ship monitors
High explosive bombs and deadly
J Turnipseed, H Bauer, F Gomez,
traffic and unusual activities, a well
M Hessdorfer, R Kaiser and four
as carying out on-board exercises.
Nelsons – all lie in 40ft of water
On leaving San Diego, Monmouth
● Cdr Tim Peacock speaks at
the Arizona Memorial (below) within their steel tomb. was straight into counter-narcotics
Picture: LA(Phot) Brian Douglas The British visitors also peered operations – meaning two RN Type
into the ruffled waters of the harbour,
23s were hunting drugs runners
● The remains of one of
where the outline of the Arizona can off both coasts of Central America,
USS Arizona’s gun turrets
be seen from the memorial, which HMS Portland being the frigate in
(bottom), visible from the
straddles her amidships. the Caribbean.
Arizona memorial (below left)
Just to one side of the memorial marina Next month – Global perspective
United kingdoms
half a world apart
OAHU, the island of Honolulu By this time Hawaii was well “person and manners were both
and Pearl Harbor, has been down the road to unification very agreeable.”
greeting ships of the Royal Navy under King Kamehameha I, who Her intricate clothing was
since the late 18th century. became concerned at tales of
described in detail – as was the
James Cook was the first ‘ambitious’ European nations
fact that “she wore no dress from
European on record to have seeking colonies.
the waist upwards”.
sighted the islands of Hawaii, The king and his chiefs
The performance “excited
having spotted ‘Woahoo’ (Oahu) voluntarily acknowledged to
considerable applause from
in January 1778 while on passage Vancouver that he and his people
the numerous spectators, who
from Tahiti, though there is were subjects of the British crown,
observed the greatest good order
evidence in inaccurate charts that seeking protection “against any
and decorum”…
Spanish explorer Juan Gaetano future molestations.”
may have spotted them in 1542.
Thus, although never formally
This, it seemed to Vancouver, was
Cook’s association with Hawaii, of benefit to Britain as well “under
ratified in London, the Hawaiian
which he named the Sandwich a conviction of the importance
islands came under the protection
Islands in honour of First Sea of these islands to Great Britain
of the Crown, and the British flag
Lord the Earl of Sandwich, ended in the event of an extension of
was added to that of Hawaii in the
in violence. her commerce over the Pacific
early 19th century.
Having landed on the Big Island Ocean…”, though “whether this
In the 1820s King Liholiho, his
(Hawaii itself) to be greeted with addition to the empire will ever
queen and close courtiers travelled
enthusiasm – it was, fortuitously, be of any importance to Great
to England, and were lionised by
an auspicious period of feasting Britain, or whether the surrender
London society.
for a Hawaiian god – Cook and his of the island will ever be attended But the royal couple died of
men were initially well-received. with any additional happiness measles, and their bodies were
But on departure some weeks to its people, time alone must returned to Hawaii in the frigate
later, a mast of HMS Resolution determine.” HMS Blonde, commanded by
was damaged in a storm and Cook Capt the Rt Hon Lord Byron, the
returned to Hawaii, where the
Vancouver was also angry
poet’s cousin.
islanders were troubled by this
at the “shameful” scams
deity with feet of clay.
being perpetrated by
Decades of cordial relations
Cook, believed to have been
traders, avoiding payment
followed, but with the Hawaiian
irritated by illness, became
for food, or providing
royal lineage faltering, in 1893
embroiled in a dispute, and was
shoddy goods at infl ated
a small group of ‘reformers’
killed in a skirmish with locals on
prices, including fatally-
forced the elected King, David
February 14 1779.
fl awed muskets.
Kalakuau, to sign away many of
A monument now stands Indeed, in Volume III of his
the rights of the monarchy in what
in his memory at the isolated Voyage of Discovery, Vancouver
became known as the ‘Bayonet
Kealakekua Bay, near the town of states “the putting of firearms into
Captain Cook. the hands of uncivilised people is
The so-called annexationists,
Later Naval visitors fared rather at best very bad policy, but when
almost exclusively non-natives, had
better, particularly the affable they are given in an imperfect
strong backing in the United States
Capt George Vancouver, who was and insufficient condition for a
and from local businessmen, and
born 250 years ago this year. valuable consideration, it is not
Hawaii swiftly became a republic
Vancouver, after whom the only infamously fraudulent, but
and an American territory.
city in Canada is named, visited barbarous and inhuman.”
It took its place as the 50th state
Hawaii in 1792-4 during his At the celebrations surrounding
of America in 1959 – but there are
historic survey of the Pacific the formal approach to Britain still islanders who nurse a sense
coastline, and proved not only on February 25 1794, Vancouver of grievance, and would like to
a fine ambassador, but also an describes a dance by a young see the sovereign and independent
enlightened man. woman named Puckoo, whose Kingdom of Hawaii restored.
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