View Full Version : Henderson Field name change?

06-01-03, 01:21 PM
Rec'd this from my former CO. I don't know the details why the petition is neccesary, but here it is. Evidently some Japanese want the name changed. I'll have to look in to it.


06-01-03, 03:18 PM
Just signed the petition. Seems this "consulting firm" needs to find something else to do. Kudos to the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands for standing our ground on this issue.God Bless him. Semper Fi Dave

06-02-03, 08:13 AM
mission accomplished........signed.........

Henderson Field – A Name That Will Always Be Historically Significant

Exclusive commentary by Thomas D. Segel

Jun 1, 2003

There are few Americans now alive who remember the name Henderson Field. If history were accurately taught to this country’s student population this wouldn’t be true. However, our revisionist educators are managing to remove most of what is important from the pages of the nation’s textbooks.

If there is any spot of land important to the American victories of World War II, that place on our globe should be Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands.

Guadalcanal was the first major assault by American forces in World War II. The principal target of that attack was an unfinished Japanese airfield, from which, if it remained in enemy hands, would allow them to control the Pacific Theater and even launch attacks on all island territories and even Australia.
Conversely, if Americans captured the field and Guadalcanal was held, our country could obtain military dominance throughout the Pacific.

The First Marine Division landed on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. The thrust of its attack was aimed at capturing the Japanese airfield.

Though things were moving in favor the Marines, they were dealt their first blow by our own forces. The Navy, fearing a Japanese counterattack and more losses, such as those sustained at Pearl Harbor, decided to pull its invasion fleet out of the Guadalcanal battle. One day after the Marines went ashore, the fleet steamed away…taking with it reserve personnel, food, ammunition, artillery and all of the support needed by the Marines engaged in fierce combat.

Had the Marine attack not been so swift, all would have been lost. However, the rapid advance of our forces had triggered such as hasty retreat that the Japanese left behind all of their food and other supplies, plus the heavy equipment which was being utilized to build the airfield.

Marines, who are infamous for appropriating anything and everything they need to complete their mission, picked up where the Japanese had left off. They used this same equipment to finish building what had been named by them…Henderson Field, in honor of Major Lofton Henderson, a Marine Squadron Commander lost during the battle of Midway.

Japanese leaders also knew the value of Guadalcanal and Henderson Field. Days turned into weeks and then months as the battle for that important piece of ground continued. Time and time again it was thought the Marines would be pushed into the sea. Knowing they were close to victory, the Japanese attacks became even more intense. They bombed and strafed from the air, naval gunfire thundered in from the sea. The enemy even counterattacked with land forces in an attempt to recapture that important dot of land in the Pacific.

It took six months for the Americans to gain enough superiority to bring the battle to a positive conclusion. During all this time the Marines defended their turf. They held…and held…and held.

Henderson Field is synonymous with sacrifice and determination. From the Marine vantagepoint it is arguably the most pivotal airfield of the entire Pacific campaign.

Today there is a movement on the part of the Japanese government to change the name of Henderson Field. This spring a recommendation has been prepared by a consulting firm and sent to the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, seeking that name change.

Those opposed to revisionist history and the dishonoring of all who fought in that key island battle should rise up in protest. The idea that this airport’s name would be changed is an affront to all who served in the Pacific. It would also remove another page of historical heritage from a history text, which grows thinner with each passing year.


Thomas D. Segel, a retired Marine journalist, served 26 years in a variety of assignments, including the war in Korea and two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is a twice-wounded former combat correspondent who holds eight personal decorations for valor and meritorious service. Winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award for journalistic excellence, he is also author of several books, including “Men in Space”, which was placed on both the national high school and junior high school library lists .Segel received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas – Pan American and his graduate degree from Vanderbilt University. During his years as an educator he taught Government and Economics. He is a past National President of the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association. Readers may contact Segel at feedback@washingtondispatch.com.



06-02-03, 10:25 AM
I don't see what the problem is. Place names are changed all the time.

My vote is that they can change the name of Henderson Field to whatever they want, AFTER Tokyo has a name change to MacArthur Park.

Don't ever say "NO" because you are inviting a confrontation.
Say "Yes, IF ..." and put them on the defensive.

Either names have a historical significance, or they don't. If they don't, let's change the name of Tokyo. If MacArthur Park is not acceptable, how about Disneyland East? In fact, I always thought that "Funny Farm" would be a great name for a city.

We could have a contest. The top ten submitted names would be placed on a ballot and the world would vote for a new name for Tokyo. I always felt that Tokyo was a funny sounding name anyway and it should be changed.

Regardless of historical significance, "Henderson" has a sound that exudes power and virility. "Tokyo" on the other hand reminds me of the sound a gekko (house lizard) makes.

I am agreeable. I think we can go ahead and change both names. You do agree, don't you?

06-02-03, 04:31 PM
To change the name of Henderson Field is not right and would be a Dishonor to all the Marines who fought and died defending it. Why should we listen to the Japanese, we beat their a$$ Royally in WW II. And they have been trying to get back at us ever since. It is UN-American to give in to the wimps of every country. History is History, do we change it because a few don't like what happened in the past.............America: Wake up and smell the coffee.



06-03-03, 02:28 AM
My 2 cents worth (and signature) goes to Henderson Field. :marine:

benny rutledge
06-03-03, 01:00 PM
Major Henderson though that field was worth fighting and dying over,not to mention the Army and Navy types that spilled blood there.I just signed the petition,even if you don't want to sign you should look at who is signing,I spotted some famous ones.

06-03-03, 02:04 PM
Signed with pleasure. Semper Fi

Clark Shumway
06-03-03, 03:36 PM
60 years ago while fighting on the Island nobody said."Do you think they'll change the name of the airfield after all the blood that has been shed?" So why are we changing it now.

06-11-03, 05:17 PM
New fight brews over Guadalcanal

By Audrey Hudson

A proposal to rename Henderson Field on Guadalcanal after Japan's national flower — the chrysanthemum — has angered Marines, who say the "revisionist history" dishonors Americans who fought and died for the pivotal airfield.
Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, was the site of the Allies' first Pacific offensive during World War II. After taking the island from the Japanese in 1942, the 1st Marine Division completed construction of what is now an international airport for the Solomon Islands.
The Marines named the airstrip for Maj. Lofton Henderson, the first Marine pilot killed in action by the Japanese during the historic Battle of Midway.
A consultant group from Japan, hired by the Solomon Islands' government, has proposed that the name be changed to one symbolizing their country. The consultants are working on restoration projects to make runway and terminal repairs at the airport, which is frequented by Japanese tourists, according to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.
The consultants say a more contemporary and recognizable name is needed.
However, more than 5,000 Marines and supporters disagree. Led by the U.S. Marine Raider Association, they have signed a petition to the Solomon Islands' government protesting the name change.
"Anything that is changed after 60 years to promote commercial enterprise or false national pride is revisionist history," said Dr. Ervin Kaplan, veteran of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion.
"They lost the war. We turned them all the way back to Tokyo," Dr. Kaplan said. "They didn't win the war, and they shouldn't rename it after their national flower."
The petition was sent to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who also is being lobbied by members of the Marine Raider Association. Dr. Kaplan said it appears that Mr. Sogavare may oppose the name change.
"The idea that the airport's name would be changed would dishonor both the Allies who served there, and the Japanese who fought on the island, as it would strip the historical heritage of this important name for future generations of Solomon Islanders, and travelers who arrive and depart the country," the petition said.
"The airfield is synonymous with sacrifice and was arguably one of the most pivotal airfields in the entire Pacific Campaign, and possibly all of WWII, as its fall would have compromised the shipping lanes to Australia and was vital as America's first offensive in the Pacific," it said.
The Japanese fought U.S. occupation of the island for six months, and more than 2,000 Americans were killed. Occupation of the airstrip gave the Allies military dominance throughout the Pacific during the war and marked the turnabout of the Japanese advance.
The island today is independently governed and suffering economic hardships, and the consultants suggest changing the name might boost tourism and development.
"It won't help commerce in the islands, it won't do a thing for them. In fact, it would be a negative factor," Dr. Kaplan said.




06-13-03, 10:32 PM
So next
We change O'Hare Field in Chi-town to Daley International? I voted Henderson but it does belong to the Solomons. If they want to change it, how about Sgt. Major Fouza Airport. Never Chrysanthemum. The Japanese couldn't hold on to it long enough to finish it and now they want to name it!?!

06-14-03, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by tkuhr
So next
We change O'Hare Field in Chi-town to Daley International? I voted Henderson but it does belong to the Solomons. If they want to change it, how about Sgt. Major Fouza Airport. Never Chrysanthemum. The Japanese couldn't hold on to it long enough to finish it and now they want to name it!?!

I figure the riceballs can rename Henderson Field...AFTER they fight for it...same way as '42...

06-15-03, 07:49 AM
In support of Henderson Field and the lives that were lost to obtain it.