MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, HI Image 1
    MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, HI Image 2

    MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, HI History

    Originally US Army Base Fort Hase, an Army coastal gun battery on Mokapu Peninsula, the Navy selected the same peninsula as a Naval Air Station for its isolation and good terrain for flying. The Navy acquired all of the area not already under the Army, in 1940, and used the facility, NAS Kaneohe Bay, for long range PBY Catalina seaplane patrols.

    On December 7, 1941, NAS Kaneohe Bay was one of the first targets of the attack on Pearl Harbor; it was also the site of one of the first stands against Japanese aggression. Station personnel, notably Chief Petty Officer John William Finn, rushed from off-base housing to find the PBYs on fire and Japanese planes continuing their attack. Chief Finn took over a .50 caliber machine gun station, relocated it away from the burning aircraft, and fired on enemy planes from an exposed field of fire, recieving 21 wounds in the battle, and downing the first enemy planes of the attack. Only after being ordered away would he be treated, and after treatment he returned to direct damage control efforts. For these actions CPO Finn was awarded the first Medal of Honor of World War Two.

    During the war NAS Kaneohe Bay was also a training center for aviation and naval gunnery, housing the Fleet Gunnery School. After the war, the Fort was reduced to skeleton levels, and the NAS was deactivated in 1949, with relocation of units to another station. The Marine Corps assumed control of the air station in 1951 and began to use it for aviation training, especially Air-Ground Task Force training. In 1994 the air station was renamed MCB Hawaii, but also called Kaneohe Bay. The base is about a mile away from the Winter White House of President Barack Obama, who has used the base's facilities for some official functions.