A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COURTYARD OF HEROES

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COURTYARD OF HEROES

In 1991, as the 50th anniversary of the Japanese 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor approached, Gen. Jimmie Adams approved a project to put historical photos and story boards in the foyer of PACAF Headquarters. That move could be considered the beginning of the Courtyard of Heroes. Another 50th anniversary -- that of the activation of PACAF's predecessor, the Far East Air Forces, in 1944 - was the impetus for the construction of the PACAF "In Defense of the Nation" memorial in the foyer in 1994. Listed on the memorial are the campaigns and some of the humanitarian efforts that PACAF subordinate units supported. The Wall of Valor in honor of PACAF Medal of Honor recipients was also added in 1994.

The largest part of the Courtyard of Heroes project was the landscaping of the courtyard itself and the erection of the large memorial with its "eternal flame." This was undertaken during command of Gen. John Lorber in 1995. General Lorber provided a vision for the entire project, which extensively involved base and headquarters civil engineers and historians. The project was managed by the Saber Element of 15 Civil Engineering Squadron. The project was accepted and finalized on 23 Aug 95, and the garden was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of V-J day.

The large granite monument with the "eternal flame" in the center were designed to memorialize those men and women who lost their lives in the three wars in the Pacific - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Two smaller monuments in the courtyard are memorials to those who lost their lives in this building and on Hickam Field during the 1941 attack.