1962 Corvette

Wayne Winquist’s 1962 Corvette, Oahu Hawaii 1972

One of the many blessings I had during my time in the US Navy, was to serve at NAS Barbers Point as a jet fuel tanker truck driver delivering JP-5 to many different types of military aircraft. NAS is the abbreviation for “Naval Air Station.” One of the cars I owned during my stay at Barbers Point was a 1962 Corvette. It was a car with a good deal of get-up-and-go. Most of the time, however, the local speed limits on Oahu were not for going like the Corvette could go.

1962 Corvette in front of my NAS Barber’s Point enlisted men’s barracks
1962 Corvette looking towards the NAS Galley where I worked cleaning dishes.
1962 Corvette – view from my barrack’s room.

If you wonder what “JP-5” is, it is Jet Propellant-5. JP-5 and JP-8 (Jet Propellant-8) are kerosene-based fuels used in military aircraft.

The Secret Marine Corps Air Station Racetrack

Actually, I don’t know how I found out about it, so it probably wasn’t a secret. There were some abandoned World War II hangers and runways on our corner of paradise. At the time I did not know anything about the abandoned airfield, but I saw things I recognized in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!

Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 epic war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The film was created before I arrive on the island of Oahu. The racetrack I used for the Corvette was attacked and the film used a historic Ewa hanger. Therefore, while I never saw that hanger in person, I did see the concrete revetment hangars.

Some Interesting History From Wikiwand

The Ewa Marine Corps Air Station was founded for the United States Navy in 1925 for a helium-filled rigid airships. No airships ever landed there. “The USS Shenandoah crashed in Ohio in 1925, the USS Akron was destroyed in 1933 and the USS Macon in 1935, leading to the cancellation of the airship program. The base’s upgrade to an air station began in September 1940, and on February 3, 1941 it was commissioned Marine Corps Air Station Ewa.” – Wikiwand

1944 Arial View of EWA airfield (left) and NAS Barber’s Point runways (right)

“By the onset of World War II, the air station had four runways and numerous hangars. On December 7, 1941, MCAS Ewa was the first installation hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor. All forty-eight aircraft based there were destroyed, although the runway was not bombed and remained serviceable.[1][3] During the attack, an Aichi D3A dive bomber was shot down by pilots George Welch and Kenneth Taylor in their P-40s above the Station.” – Wikiwand

“The base was closed in 1952 because its runways were too short for jet aircraft, and expansion was impossible due to the proximity of Naval Air Station Barbers Point.” – Wikiwand

LINK: Ewa Field – MCAS Ewa Historic World War II Memorial Park