LIHUE — The most important things are the stories, said Stan De La Cruz of Hanapepe.
De La Cruz is spearheading a reunion for everyone affiliated with the Air National Guard 150th ACW (Aircraft Control and Warning) squadron.
The reunion is scheduled for Aug. 28 for one day at Wong’s in Hanapepe.
De La Cruz said the last reunion was five years ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 150th ACW, which was originally set up in the radar station near the entrance to the Kalalau Lookout.
“The numbers (of people) are there,” De La Cruz said. “Over the years, there must have been at least 700 people connected with the 150th. The Air National Guard had an impact on Koke‘e.”
Over the years, the 150th ACW became the victim of budgets and changes in equipment, Dela Cruz said.
“In 2007, the 150th was deactivated, the squadron becoming a flight, and moving downwards,” Dela Cruz said. “When the 150th became a flight, everything moved to the 154 ACS who set up at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana. That operation later became the 298 ATCF. “
De La Cruz said there have been a lot of people, including himself, who moved through the various units as the original 150th was downsized and downsized some more.
“All told, there must be more than 900 people who have been connected with all of these units,” he said.
“We’re trying to get everyone – the old-timers from the beginning. We’ve talked to as many people we meet, but this is our first venue at getting the word out to anyone connected with the 150th ACW.”
Johnette Chun said when she moved to Kauai in 1989, it was the beginning of the end for the 150th ACW.
“I came here with no family, no friends,” Chun said. “These people became my friends, my family. I recently went to a party where I saw Mel Kauahi playing music. He is in his 70s, and when I saw Stan, I told him ‘we need to do another reunion while everyone is here.’”
De La Cruz said there always was good camaradiere with the 150th ACW.
“I’m so glad we’re putting this together,” De La Cruz said. “We need those stories from all the people connected with the unit — Like the days when we hosted the fishing tournament and Juan Lorenzo was the radio man. Those were the good years.”
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