|Occupying force:|| Marine Corps Air Station Ewa (pronounced Eva) was located adjacent to NAS Barbers Point The Navy leased 150 acres (61-hectares) in 1925 to erect a mooring mast for the rigid airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1). However, on 2 September 1925, Shenandoah departed NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey on a flight to the Middle West for training and to test a new mooring mast at Dearborn, Michigan. While passing through an area of thunderstorms and turbulence over Ohio early in the morning of 3 September, the airship was torn apart and crashed near Marietta, Ohio. Shenandoah\'s commanding officer and 13 other officers and men were killed. Twenty-nine survivors succeeded in riding three sections of the airship to earth.
The Navy next planned to send the rigid airship USS Macon (ZRS-5), based at NAS Moffett Field, Sunnyvale, California, to Hawaii in 1935. The mooring mast was to be lowered and quarters built for the crew. On 12 February 1935, when returning from fleet maneuvers, Macon ran into a storm off Point Sur, California. During the storm, she was caught in a sudden updraft which caused structural failure of her upper fin and resultant gas leakage and loss of control. Settling to the sea, Macon sank off the California coast, losing only two-crew members.
After the crash of Macon, it was decided to modify this land by constructing a 1,500-by-150-foot (457-by-46-meter) oil-surfaced emergency landing field and it was named Ewa Mooring Mast Field.
In September 1940, the Navy purchased an additional 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) around the field for a Marine Corps air station. Field work was started in September on the grading required for the extension of the existing runway and for a new cross-runway; the airstrips were in usable conditions by early 1941 and the first aircraft arrived on 3 February 1941. By June of that year, the paving of the two strips was complete, and Marine personnel moved in, erected their own living facilities, and operated a small number of planes.
After much construction, the airfield had four-runways, each 300-feet (91-meters) wide, with lengths varying from 2,900- to 5,000-feet (884- to 1,524-meters). |