Barbers Point Naval Air Station
closing after 57 years
Base construction and
expansion was under way when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec, 7, 1941. Nine of
the air station's 11 Wildcats were left in shambles by Japanese fighters.
Nineteen of 32 scout bombers and six
utility aircraft were lost. Only partially completed, Barbers Point Naval Air Station was
commissioned April 15, 1942.
The air station is named after Capt.
Henry Barber, whose 100-foot brig Arthur ran aground in 1796 near a tract of land on the
southwestern point of Oahu known by the Hawaiians as Kalaeloa, or "long cape or
Barbers Point Naval Air Station (NAS) is located on the island
of Oahu, 13 miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii. The main base encompasses approxi-mately 3,700
acres on the leeward coast of Oahu. Aviation activities began at Barbers Point in the
1930's. Originally, an emergency landing field, with the added requirements from World War
II (WWII), it quickly grew and NAS Barbers Point was completed in 1943. Typical air
station operations that contributed to contaminated sites on the facility include disposal
pits, a pesticide shop, a landfill, an Oily Wastewater Treatment Plant (OWTP) farm and
transformer sites. The primary contaminants of concern, affecting both groundwater and
soil, include the chemical additive PCB, heavy metals, petroleum products, pesticides and
solvents. Current operations include pollution prevention technologies to prevent further
Relations Plan (CRP) was completed December 1994.
NAS Barbers Point is located toward the west end of
the southern coastal plain. Streams do not enter or exit the base, and there is only one
small pond on the station. The groundwater found on the base is brackish. Due to the
highly permeable bedrock and poorly developed soils at the NAS, any landfill leachates or
liquid wastes in the ground can be expected to readily migrate to the water table.
The Barbers Point facility has
long, colorful history
Barbers Point Naval Air Station, an important element of Hawaii's
military community, will close today after 57 years of service. However, the area has a
long and colorful history:
1796: Henry Barber, British sea captain, shipwrecks his 100-foot brig Arthur at
Navy leases 3,000 square foot parcel from Campbell Estate to moor its dirigible, Akron.
Campbell's land purchases included 41,000 acres of dry, barren Ewa land which he
bought in 1877 for $95,000. Many critics scoffed at the doubtful value of his purchase.
But Campbell envisioned supplying the arid area with water and commissioned California
well-driller James Ashley to drill a well on his Ewa ranch.
In 1879, Ashley drilled Hawaii's first artesian well. James Campbell's vision had made
it possible for Hawaii's people to grow sugar cane on the drylands of the Ewa Plain. The
well also uncoverd a vast pure water reserve that to this day provides the Pearl Harbor
and Honolulu areas with water. The site of the well is marked by a stone monument and
plaque on Fort Weaver Road, across West Loch Fairways.
Navy purchases 3,500 acres from Campbell Estate for the Ewa Marine Corps Air Station.
1941: The Japanese attack Oahu and destroy 9 of 11 Wildcats, 19 of 32 Scout bombers
and six utility aircraft at the Ewa Marine Corps Air Station.
1942: The Navy commissions Barbers Point Naval Air Station.
Marine Corps Air Station was incorporated into Barbers Point NAS.
Base Closure and Realignment
Commission decides to close the base.
1997: The Legislature establishes 2,150 acres as the Kalaeloa Community Development
1998: State and federal governments agree to transfer 500 acres to Department of
Hawaiian Home Lands.
1999: The first squadron -- Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron 37 -- moves to Marine
Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. It is the Navy's only helicopter squadron in Hawaii.
1999: The last squadron -- Patrol Squadron 47 -- leaves Barbers Point.
CLOSING THE CHAPTER
NAVAL AIR STATION BARBERS POINT ENDS 57 YEARS OF SERVICE TO FLEET
By JOCS(SW) Phil Eggman Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Naval Air Station (NAS) Barbers Point, Hawaii, was disestablished
July 1 before an audience of 1,500 military and state officials and guests. The air
station was officially commissioned in April 1942 and quickly developed into one of the
busiest airfields in the world.
During its 57-year history, the base trained carrier pilots for combat, provided
logistical support for naval aviation forces throughout the Pacific and supported airborne
early warning and antisubmarine patrol operations. "After nearly six decades of
service to America, Barbers Point stands down, leaving behind powerful memories of service
and sacrifice," said Rear Adm. John W. Townes III, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii,
"It is good to remember this legacy as we close the Navy chapter here."NAS
Barbers Point was placed on the Base Realignment and Closure list in 1993. Operational
departments and units on the base, including Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Pacific
Fleet, four P-3C Orion squadrons and a helicopter antisubmarine squadron relocated to
Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.
"If there is another legacy for which Barbers Point will be known, I hope it is
recognition that we were, simply put, good neighbors," said Capt. Robert Kernan,
Barbers Points final commanding officer. "Those who have been assigned here -
both civilian and those in uniform - have always given selflessly of their time and
resources to help others and strengthen the community."
The second part of the ceremony was dedicated to the opening of the Kalaeloa Community
Development District, the area the Navy turned over to various state agencies for reuse.
The Navy will retain 1,100 acres of the base for military housing and family services.
Approximately 2,100 acres was transferred to many public benefit agencies, including the
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Housing and Community Development Corporation of
Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Education, and the City and County Department of Parks
As part of the turnover, the public will now have access to two-and-a-half miles of
beaches, shoreline reefs, surfing sites and ironwood forests. The Honolulu Department of
Parks and Recreation will take over most of the shoreline, 44 acres in beach and parkland,
71 acres in nearby campgrounds and comfort stations. Part of the coastline White
Plains and Nimitz beaches will be kept and maintained by the Navy, but will be
accessible to the public. BARBER'S POINT NAS DISESTABLISHMENT CEREMONY PHOTOS
All photos my Fleet Imaging Command Pacific
Past Tenant Commands
Commander, Barrier Force, Pacific (CBFP)
Commander, Fleet Air Hawaii (CFAH)
Commander, Patrol Wing TWO (CPW-2)
Airborne Early Warning Barrier Squadron TWO (VPW-2)
Airborne Early Warning Wing, Pacific (AEWWP)
Aviation Physiology Training Unit/Aviation Survival Training Center
Fleet Aircraft Carrier Service Unit TWO (CASU-2)
Fleet Carrier Unit TWO (FACU-2)
Fleet Air Wing TWO (FAW-2)
Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE (VQ-3)
Fleet Tactical Support Squadron TWENTY-ONE (VR-21)
Fleet Utility/Composite Squadron ONE (VU-1/VC-1)
Patrol Squadron ONE (VP-1)
Patrol Squadron SIX (VP-6)
Patrol Squadron SEVENTEEN (VP-17)
Patrol Squadron TWENTY-TWO (VP-22)
Patrol Squadron TWENTY-EIGHT (VP-28)
B Company, 214 Aviation Regiment
Tenant Commands at Station Closure
Commander, Patrol Wings U.S. Pacific Fleet (CPWP)
Branch Medical Clinic
Branch Dental Clinic
Fleet Aviation Specialized Operations Training Group Detachment (FASO)
Fleet Imaging Center Pacific (FICP)
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light) THIRTY-SEVEN (HSL-37)
Naval Aviation Engineering Service Unit Detachment (NAESU)
Naval Security Group Detachment (NSGD)
Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment (NAVPACMETOC DET)
Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4)
Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9)
Patrol Squadron FORTY-SEVEN (VP-47)
Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit TWO (VPU-2)
297th Air Traffic Control Squadron (ATCS)
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point (CGAS)
Contributed by Bob Zafran
Naval Air Station
Various groups now occupy the Barbers Point station, which
includes 3,700 acres and three runways. Current tenants are the Fleet Maritime Patrol Air
Patrol, antisubmarine warfare squadrons, Coast Guard, Hawaii Air National Guard and Navy
housing (1,090 units).
A look at Barbers Point through the years:
Oct. 31, 1796:
Henry Barber, British sea captain shipwrecked at Kalaeloa. The British brig Arthur,
commanded by Captain Henry Barber, struck a coral shoal off what is now called Barbers
Point, Oahu, and was driven onto the rocks. Six of the 22 men aboard were swept to
their deaths while struggling to get a boat off.
leased 3,000 square foot parcel from Campbell Estate for dirigible operations. James
Campbell purchased 41,000 acres. Two years later he drilled Hawaii's first artesian well.
1940: Navy bought
3,500 acres from Campbell Estate and built the Ewa Marine Corps Station.
Dec. 7, 1941: Nine
of 11 Wildcats, 19 of 32 scout planes and six utility aircraft destroyed by Japanese
April 15, 1942: Barbers
Point Naval Air Station commissioned.
Realignment and Closure Commission decided to close the base.
July 1, 1999:
Military gates to close.
The 1st Class Association awards a flag
that was flown over NAS Barbers Point.
The last P3 Orions leave NAS Barbers
The Flag comes down at Barbers Point NAS.
Among all the states, Hawaii has one of the
biggest military populations. A number of large, permanent military bases of strategic
importance are located here: Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Schofield Army Barracks, Hickam Air
Force Base, Barbers Point Naval Air Station (now Kalaeloa Airport) , Camp H.M. Smith,
Wheeler Air Force Base, Fort Shafter, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, and U.S. Coast
Guard facilities at Sand Island. Active duty military population stands at about 36,400,
with an additional 42,000 family members. There are an estimated 13,000 military retirees
living in Hawaii.