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Signs highlight Pearl Harbor sites

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    Jim Neuman, left, Navy Region Hawaii historian, and Capt. Richard Kitchens, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam commander, unveil signs marking Hospital Point, one of nine signs labeling historic areas at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station.

Nine new signs mark historically significant areas at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station, a national landmark indelibly linked with the Japanese attack that prompted the United States’ entrance into World War II.

The signs were dedicated yesterday by Capt. Richard Kitchens, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam commander. They are described by the U.S. National Park Service as wayside exhibits which serve as "captions on the landscape."

Jim Neuman, Navy Region Hawaii historian, said, "There’s a lot of history in Pearl Harbor that has never been talked about or properly marked. This is only a beginning; we’re barely scratching the surface. … This is for people who work here, to show them the history of the place, and for the education of visitors," he said.

Neuman came up with the idea a year ago to install the exhibits, which are 2 by 3 feet in size, and cost $50,000. They are similar to the ones used by the U.S. National Park Service around the country.

The ceremony was held at Hospital Point on a day that coincided with the 112th anniversary of President William McKinley’s authorization of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, a Navy release said.

Markers are located at:

Hospital Point: A hospital served the Pearl Harbor community here from 1917 until a new hospital opened in Aiea in 1942. The point is also home to a memorial for the crew of the USS Nevada, the only battleship to get underway during the Japanese bombing on Dec. 7, 1941.

Ford Island: A naval air station was established here in 1923 and functioned until 1962.

Coaling Station: The station, completed in 1918, provided fuel for the harbor vessels.

Marine Barracks: Puller Hall, built in 1913, is one of the oldest buildings through which thousands of Marines passed on their way to Pacific battlefields.

Shipyard: For more than 100 years the shipyard serviced Navy vessels, earning the motto, "We keep them fit to fight."

Hale Alii: From about 1915 this has been a place of respite to high-ranking officers in peace and war.

Merry Point Landing: In 1840 Commodore Charles Wilkes conducted the first American survey of the inlet that would eventually become known as Pearl Harbor.

Submarine Base: A home to Pacific Fleet submarines since the 1920s and the Submarine Memorial Park.

Kuahua: Once an island, the area now known as Kuahua Peninsula has seen the transformation from ammunition storage to a supply center.


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