Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pacific Cold War Museum "Outer Space" Masthead Design And Those Large Ewa Mooring Mast Circles

Pacific Cold War Museum "Outer Space" Masthead Design And
Those Large Ewa Mooring Mast Circles
By John Bond
I have been asked what the symbolism is behind the Pacific Cold War Museum masthead design since it appears to have an "outer space Star Wars" look. And what about the compass design?
Also, the former MCAS Ewa has many large circles that look like the old historic Ewa Mooring Mast, as seen from the air- what's up with that?

During the Cold War, three of the US Navy's most prominent front line planes were the P2 Neptune, EC-121 Constellation and P3 Orion.

Orion is a very prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world and is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky.

Ancient Egyptians associated Orion with Osiris, the sun-god of rebirth and afterlife.

Orion's current name derives from Greek mythology, in which Orion was a gigantic, supernaturally strong hunter of ancient times, born to Poseidon (Roman name: Neptune), god of the sea in the Greco-Roman tradition.

Orion is also very useful as an aid to locating other stars and especially for ocean and aeronautical navigation. For Hawaiian ocean navigators Orion and every star and constellation in the night sky had a unique name as well as unique names for all 28 compass directions between the four cardinal points.

Polynesian guidance system for navigating the Pacific.
Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA) sometimes referred to as a Circularly Disposed Dipole Array (CDDA) used for radio direction finding. The military used these to triangulate radio signals for radio navigation, intelligence gathering and search and rescue.

A much more detailed wiring diagram for a Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA)

All those circular patterns as seen from the air when flying over former MCAS Ewa.
Unfortunately the historic Ewa Mooring Mast circle is no longer visible from the air.

Built in 1925, it's circular shape really took form inside a large square box around 1932 when the mooring mast was shortened and a railway track ran around the circumference. The track was for tethering the aft tail section of the intended airship to keep it from rising during wind gusts.

 Pride baseball field was originally a professional hardball baseball field built during the era of immense popularity of semi-professional baseball leagues within the WW-II military in Hawaii. Baseball legends such as Ted Williams, then a US Marine Corps Corsair pilot, played there in 1945.

After NAS Barbers Point closed in 1999 this field was converted into a rounded cloverleaf little league field which remains enormously popular and heavily used today by many local teams.

The "FAA Circle" is really a government fence and road around the "Ewabe" Non-Directional Beacon, used for high and low-level enroute navigation. Most mainland and international flights coming in to land at Honolulu International Airport use this IFR beacon to line up on.

Ironically, the "FAA Circle" does a remarkably good job of simulating the look of the original Ewa Mooring Mast and is sometimes mistaken as the original Ewa Mooring Mast airship field.

The MCAS Ewa compass rose, constructed in 1944, is a 200 square foot concrete pad with an approximately 17 foot radius of lines of a large compass. This facility east of former runway 21 was used for the calibration of aircraft magnetic compasses. It is historically considered as a core function of MCAS Ewa Field during WW-II.

The two Circularly Disposed Antenna Arrays (CDAA) near Cold War era Facility 972 built in 1958. The larger one is also often mistakenly associated as being the original Ewa Mooring Mast location.

Their exact Cold War era use, frequencies and purpose isn't yet known but were most likely for aircraft radio navigation, direction finding, intelligence gathering and for search and rescue.

Pacific Cold War Patrol Museum - Patrol Wing Two HQ and SOSUS