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‘Hawaii at War’ exhibit at Outlets of Maui commemorates 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

By Staff | Dec 6, 2018

At the event, descendants of Lahaina members of the 442 Regimental Combat Team can sign up for a free copy of the picture taken of their loved ones in 1943.

LAHAINA – December 7 will mark 77 years since the Pearl Harbor attack. The “Hawaii at War: The Road to Pearl Harbor” exhibit at the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina will host a free public presentation on The Battle of Iwo Jima by historian Harry Smith at 2 p.m. in shop #F-2 (look for the Willys Jeep parked in front).

Smith will discuss the United States’ military imperative for liberating islands in the Central Pacific and describe Japanese Imperial Army strategic defenses. Veterans and their families are invited to attend.

“Hawaii at War: The Road to Pearl Harbor” is an extensive collection of rare maps, documents and artifacts from the WWII Pacific Theatre created by Bryant Neal and supported by The Navy League, Maui County Veterans’ Council, County of Maui and North Shore Zipline.

Of particular interest are copies of Japanese WWII war maps, aerial photos and documents researched and assembled by Neal, curator of The Story of Hawaii Museum Collection.

These rare items add perspective to the most costly and hard-fought war of all time.

On Dec. 7 at 3 p.m., Katherine Kama‘ema‘e Smith will show vintage pictures of Camp Maui, where some 18,000 4th Marines stayed between Pacific combat missions.

Speaker Smith began studying the Battle of Iwo Jima when he was nine. His assignment for the war effort was to write letters to his uncle, Pvt. James Shanahan.

Uncle Jimmy was wounded in the invasion of Iwo Jima and returned home – 6,800 Marines did not.

“Our children and grandchildren must not underestimate the sacrifices made by veterans or the horrors of war. I am honored to help Bryant Neal and our Maui veterans tell the story of WWII,” said Smith.

Smith and his wife, Katherine, attended the Reunion of Honor on Iwo Jima and heard the stories of many WWII veteran Marines.

Also on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m., Katherine Kama’ema’e Smith will show vintage pictures of Camp Maui, a rest and training encampment in Haiku that some 18,000 4th Marines called “home” between Pacific combat missions.

Associated with the camp were over 45 training sites. Bryant Neal created a special exhibit at Camp Maui Museum, which is built right on the WWII cement slabs and part of North Shore Zipline Camp Maui Tours.

The free museum of WWII vehicles, aircraft and memorabilia is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

“Hawaii at War: The Road to Pearl Harbor” exhibit at Outlets of Maui in Lahaina closes Friday, Dec.10. Until then, it is open daily from noon to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Neal at (808) 283-3576 or info@storyofhawaiimuseum.com.