Initial steps in an extensive program, involving expenditure of millions of dollars, to make Hawaii the Gibraltar of the Pacific will be taken within three months.
First of the new allotment of army planes which have been authorized to modernize Hawaii’s air defense forces are expected within that time, according to Maj. Gen. Hugh A. Drum, who returned from Washington on the Lurline today.
The commander of the Hawaiian department returned with a first hand, but generalized report, of this hearings and appearances before the house subcommittee of the congressional committee on appropriations.
General Drum was called to the capital to present his recommendations for modernization of the Hawaiian department.
He went in response to a summons from the congressional committee which visited Hawaii and inspected local defense units in October of last year. …
Under present proposals, defenses in the territory will be given primary consideration, the general said. Housing and general rehabilitation of the department are regarded as important by the committee, but of significance secondary to the necessity of strengthening the defense units.
Aircraft will be first consideration, he general said. First contingent of the new, speedy, thoroughly modern planes are due within three months. The general declined to specify the number or exact type.
General Drum indicated the rehabilitation project will involve expenditure of millions of dollars and may include improvements which will continue over a period of years. …
Development of Hickam Field, with inclusion in it of an international airport available to all trans-pacific air lines, has an important place in the plans, he said, but withheld specific comments on this phases of the project.