Hawaii is really beautiful. It's way more than just fancy beaches and surfing. There are several islands, but I flew mostly around Oahu and the big island of Hawaii. I was the guest of the people who fly Blackhawk helicopters. My F/A-18 WISO mailed me to Hawaii so I could meet up with them. My main host trains pilots to fly the Blackhawks. You can see from the photos and videos below some of the gorgeous scenery of the islands. Oh yea, it rains a lot. Like A LOT. But watch me flying OUTSIDE of the helicopter - IN THE RAIN - going past incredible waterfalls that fall hundreds of feet. Does it get better than that?
Also while I was in Hawaii it was a very important day. I was there on December 7, 2021. That is Pearl Harbor Day and I was there, in Pearl Harbor, on one of the ships that is stationed there to memorialize a horrible day in American history. That day our ships and planes stationed at Pearl Harbor were attacked by the Japanese. That was what moved the United States to enter WWII. Lots of people died that day and several ships were sunk or damaged. It's really sad how many lives were lost. That's why we remember it every December 7. War isn't a good thing. It's always good to remember that we must be vigilant and be ready, but we should never think war is a good thing.
You can also see from the pictures that I was raised on the flag pole on a ship. This was the U.S.S. Missouri. It was closed for renovations and it was the pandemic besides, but my Hawaii friends were able to get an exception and I got to tour this famous ship. There is a plaque on the deck, you can see the photo below. This is where WWII ended. The plaque reads: U.S.S. MISSOURI - OVER THIS SPOT ON 2 SEPTEMBER 1945 THE INSTRUMENT OF FORMAL SURRENDER OF JAPAN TO THE ALLIED POWERS WAS SIGNED THUS BRINGING TO A CLOSE THE SECOND WORLD WAR -------- THE SHIP AT THAT TIME WAS AT ANCHOR IN TOKYO BAY - LATITUDE 35° 21' 17" NORTH - LONGITUDE 139° 45' 36" EAST
December 7 is important for another reason. We flags have had a chance to meet Brigadier General Charles McGee at EAA AirVenture. He was in WWII as a Tuskegee Airman, flying fighters to protect bombers in Europe. He also flew in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was a truly wonderful, kind man. We got to have our picture taken with him several times over the years. December 7 was his birthday. Isn't that a real coincidence? When my friends in Hawaii realized that they made him a huge birthday card and we had it with us on the U.S.S. Missouri. December 7, 2020 was his 101st birthday. Sadly, he died shortly after his 102nd birthday, in 2021. You never know who you are going to meet. The world is full of people who started out just normal everyday lives but have had totally extraordinary experiences because they were ready when the opportunity arose. Brigadier General McGee told us he hadn't started out to be a pilot at all, but he took advantage of the opportunity when he was asked. Just like me going to the Pacific again. It all started with an ordinary conversation with someone doing the most ordinary part of his job.
Such an honor getting to ride outside with the helicopters
Who cares if it's raining when you can have view like this?