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Historic tower restored in time for Pearl Harbor’s 75th anniversary

A restored aerological tower (the small, white structure) that served as a flight-control center during the 1941 surprise attack by the Japanese was dedicated Sunday by the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. The tall orange-and-white tower was still under construction during the attack.

WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES

By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 5, 2016

FORD ISLAND, Hawaii — A restored tower that served as a flight-control center during the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack by the Japanese was dedicated Sunday by the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

The $650,000 restoration was completed in time for this week’s 75th anniversary of the attack, which has brought scores of World War II veterans to Hawaii. Steady rain forced organizers to move most of the dedication ceremony indoors and cancel a planned flyover by World War II-era aircraft.

The roughly four-story tower, designed to gauge wind direction and weather, was built in 1941 and deemed a national historic landmark in 1962. Its steel window frames and doors, along with the window handles and doorknobs, are all original.

The tower appeared in the Hollywood movies “Tora Tora Tora” and “Pearl Harbor,” though the adjacent 158-foot air traffic control center, restored in 2011, is mistakenly depicted as operational in those films. That distinctive orange-and-white tower was not completed until 1942.

Major funding for the project came from grants from the state of Hawaii and the Freeman Foundation.

olson.wyatt@stripes.com
Twitter: @WyattWOlson

Kordell Kekoa performs a Hawaiian blessing for the newly restored aerological tower at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Hawaii, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. The tower was used to direct American aircraft in defense of the Japanese' surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941.
WYATT OLSON/STARS AND STRIPES

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