Honolulu is the capital and largest city in Hawaii. It is located on the island of Oahu. Honolulu has existed in one form or another since the 12th Century. After the formation of the Kingdom of Hawaii, it became the de facto capital in 1809, and then the de jure capital in 1845. After the overthrow of the monarchy, the short-lived Hawaiian Republic, and annexation by the USA, Honolulu remained the Hawaiian capital.
Honolulu in Days of Infamy
At the time of the Japanese attack on Hawaii in 1941, Honolulu was the largest city, and main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands. The city was divided up into ethic regions, Chinese, Japanese, Whites aka haoles, Koreans, Filipinos, and others.
After the Japanese invaded Hawaii, Honolulu was severely bombed by Japanese dive bombers as they attempted to destroy both logistical operations of the US Forces there, and the morale of the civilian population. Although the pilots were given strict orders not to bomb the Japanese section of the town, some bombs managed to strike the district, killing and wounding many Japanese civilians. As the fighting came closer to Honolulu, many residents feared the city would be destroyed in the ensuing combat, but just as the Japanese Army reached the outskirts of the city, the US Army surrendered; sparing the city. However, much of the city lay in ruins, including the famous Aloha Tower.
After the surrender, the city became the administrative centre for the Japanese occupation of the islands, and the city's Kapiolani Park became a prisoner of war (POW) camp for captured American soldiers. The Foster Botanical Garden also became a refugee camp for many Japanese civilians who lost their homes in the attack on the city. The garden's many trees were chopped down for fire wood much to the dismay of the garden's owners.
Later, after the failure of the first US attempt to retake the islands, Honolulu became the capital of the puppet "Kingdom of Hawaii."
In 1943, the US Navy launched its second offensive against the islands, bombing the water front district of the city, before launching their attack against the Japanese Fleet. After the Japanese Fleet was destroyed, the city became the target of US bombers and dive bombers as they attacked the Japanese garrison. When the Marines arrived, they fought a bloody street to street battle with the SNLF, reducing Honolulu to ruins.
After the Japanese were defeated, the US Navy used what little was still standing of the city for their headquarters for their campaign to retake Midway.
Honolulu in The Hot War
On December 18, 1950, President Harry Truman met in Honolulu with General Douglas MacArthur, the overall commander in the Pacific, about the deteriorating situation in the Korean War. MacArthur suggested atomic weapons might make the difference if they were used on cities in Manchuria to disrupt the Chinese supply line into North Korea. Despite his misgivings, Truman authorized MacArthur to use atomic weapons if it was the only way to improve the situation. Truman admitted that if the three divisions in North Korea has been successfully evacuated from Hungnam, he would not have considered the atomic option.
Honolulu in "News From the Front"
After ports of call in San Francisco and Honolulu, the passenger liner Rio Negro sailed, in late March 1942, toward Yokohama, where the activists on board sought to find ways to bring peace between Japan and the United States.
Honolulu in Southern Victory
Honolulu was the largest city in the Sandwich Islands around the time when the US Navy arrived an conquered the islands in 1914. After the defeat of the Royal Navy at Pearl Harbor, the city was surrendered without a fight, thus sparing its destruction. Many of its inhabitants were Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, and from other Asian groups. Many of the buildings in the city were reminiscent of British architecture, and there were quite a few Britishers living in the city.
Through the Great War, while the US Pacific Fleet was stationed at Hawaii, many of the US sailors and Marines, frequented the many brothels of the city; which were located east of down town.
During the Second Great War, the city of Honolulu was occasionally bombed by the Japanese, after the sinking of the USS Remembrance, but due to the large fighter air force that was kept on the islands, the bombing attacks launched from Midway, and airplane carriers were nothing more than nuisance raids, and the city was hardly damaged at all.
Honolulu in The War That Came Early