THE WALL THAT HEALS IS COMING TO COSTA MESA, CALIF.
APRIL 11-14, 2019
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica Wall and Mobile Education Center
spreads healing legacy of The Wall and educates about the impact of the Vietnam War

Costa Mesa, Calif., March 29, 2019The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to on Balearic Park, Costa Mesa, also known as Estancia Park, at 1975 Balearic Drive, Costa Mesa, 92626. The exhibit will be open 24-hours a day from April 11 – April 14, closing at 3:00 p.m. As the site host, The Freedom Committee of Orange County will provide docents at The Wall throughout the event. The Honor Ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 13 with Maj. Gen William J. Mall, USAF, Vietnam Veteran, as the keynote speaker. The Closing Ceremony will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, with Sgt. Frank Orzio, USMC, Vietnam Veteran, Purple Heart, as the featured speaker. The event will include a fly-over and the customary playing of “Taps.” The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in our nation’s capital, with more than 5.3 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as “The Wall.” The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the organization that built The Wall in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members across America an opportunity to see the Memorial.

“VVMF is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Costa Mesa to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “We hope it provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America. “Nearly 400,000 people visited an all-new The Wall That Heals exhibit in 2018. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in more than 500 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides a community with a multi-day experience that includes an educational experience for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall.

VVMF coordinates local stops of The Wall That Heals and the accompanying mobile Education Center. The current schedule and more information can be found at:  www.thewallthatheals.org.  The 2019 national The Wall That Heals tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the trucking industry and generously sponsored by USAA. Local sponsors are The Freedom Committee of Orange County, Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation, Dignity Memorial, CoreLogic, Costa Mesa-Newport Harbor Lions Club, Costa Mesa Women’s Club, TNT Fireworks, Allstage Pro, Newport Rib Company and Chick-fil-A.

 About The Wall replica 

The three-quarter scale Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the replica at this size, visitors are able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C.

Like the original Memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors are able to do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall. The names are listed in order of date of casualty and alphabetically on each day. Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. The first and last casualties are side by side at the apex of the Memorial.

The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 144 individual panels are supported by an aluminum frame. Modern LED lighting from the top of The Wall provides readability of The Wall at night.

About the mobile Education Center

The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer.  When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.

The mobile Education Center displays includes:  digital photo displays of “Hometown Heroes” – service members whose names are on The Wall that list their home of record within the area of a visit; digital photo displays of Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through VVMF’s In Memory program which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died as a result of their service; video displays that teach about the history and impact of The Wall and of the collection of items representative of those left­ at The Wall in D.C.; educational exhibits told through items in the collection; a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War. The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.

 About VVMF

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials. To learn more about VVMF, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.

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Based in Arlington, Virginia, VVMF (the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) is the nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War. Incorporated on April 27, 1979 by a group of veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, the organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war.

War in the Pacific Guadalcanal Chronicles

Mission Viejo, CA August 7.1942 to July 13, 1943

Guadalcanal Island is an Island in the Solomon Group, 100 miles long, and 50 miles wide. The ships comprising Task Force 62 and 67 were attack transports, cargo ships, heavy and light cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers whose purpose was to land assault troops, reinforcements, and supplies to advanced bases. Basic armament of the transports and cargo ships were 3″.50 AA, 20 mm. AA, 50 cal. water cooled AA weapons and one 5”51 surfaced gun located on the stern. This was the most bitterly contested action of war in American history since the campaign of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. It was composed of:

  • Seven major naval engagements
  • Ten pitched land battles
  • Innumerable forays bombardments and skirmishes

Major Naval Air Engagements:

  • Guadalcanal August 7,8,9, 1942 Tulagi, Gavutu, Florida Islands.
  • Battle of Savo Island August 9, 1942
  • Battle of Easter Solomons August 24, 1942
  • Battle of Cape Esperance October 11, 12, 1942
  • Battle of Santa Cruz Island October 26, 27, 1942
  • Naval Battle of Guadalcanal November 12-15, 1942
  • Battle of Tassaforonga and November 30, 1942 and Renell Island January 30. 1943

Skirmishes:

  • Battle of Vela Lavela February 17, 1942
  • Battle of Kolomabangara July 13, 1943

Courtesy of Howard C. BENDER, YNC, USN.

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

The following article is a brief description of events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941

 

  • At 0712 local time, Sunday, December 7, 1941, the destroyer USS WARD advised that she had been attacked by an enemy submarine and that she had counter-attacked with depth charges. She was subsequently credited with sinking the attacking submarine and her Commanding Officer, Lt. W.W. Outerbridge, was decorated. This was the first action of that memorable morning.
  • At 0755 enemy aircraft were seen approaching from the northward and attacks on Ford Island and ships in the harbor were begun immediately thereafter.
  • At 0842 a Japanese midget submarine was sunk in Middle Loch by ramming by the USS MONAGHAN and by gunfire from the USS CURTISS after resurfacing.
  • At 0910 dive bomber attacked the battleship PENNSYLVANIA, and the destroyers CASSIN and DOWNES, all in number one Drydock. the PENNSYLVANIA was struck by one five-hundred pound fragmentation bomb at frame 83 starboard, about eight feet, about eight feet in from the side of the ship. This bomb exploded on the upper deck and caused heavy personnel casualties. The CASSIN was struck by a 100-pound incendiary bomb which passed through the ship and exploded next to the DOWNES. This opened the DOWNES’ oil tanks and ignited oil. Another incendiary bomb exploded between the two destroyers and a third bomb struck the director platform of the DOWNES and exploded in the chart house.
  • Heat of the oil fires caused detonation of five-inch ammunition and warheads on the DOWNES, doing great damage. The PENNSYLVANIA was easily repaired, but the CASSIN and DOWNES were abandoned after being re-floated and removed from the Drydock. About fifty percent of their machinery was recovered and used in new hulls. Another bomb hit the west wall of the dock and cut the crane rail. Also, flames from the CASSIN and DOWNES damaged the forty-ton Drydock crane.
  • In the same attack (0910), planes heavily bombed the YFD-2(located just Ewa of number three Drydock) containing the destroyer SHAW and the tug (YT-9) SOTOYOMO. The SHAW was hit by three bombs (200-300 pounds) which exploded below decks, rupturing the forward fuel tanks and scattering burning oil. Heat from the oil fire was the probable cause of the ensuing explosion of the forward magazine, which wrecked the hull as far back as Frame 56. One of the most famous pictures of the war was of this explosion, taken from Ford Island. The tug SOTOYOMO was wrecked by the fire and explosion. The YFD sank from holes in her bottom caused by approximately five bombs, four of which affected her watertight integrity. Her watertight compartments were pierced by 155 fragments.
  • At 0758 the USS HELENA and the USS OGALALA were attacked at Baker 2, 1010 Dock. At the attack, the HELENA was moored inboard of the OGALALA and was struck on the starboard side by an aerial torpedo which passed under the OGALALA. The pressure wave from this explosion pushed in the OGALALA’S port bilge and caused flooding. The OGALALA got underway and moved astern of the HELENA alongside of 1010 Pier, where she capsized and sank. The HELENA was not heavily damaged and was quickly repaired, after Drydock. During the above described attack, an enemy bomb struck 1010 Pier at Baker 3 doing damage to the concrete. This was probably a 500-pound armor piercing type bomb.
  • At 0758, the USS MARYLAND was attacked at Berth F-5, where she was moored inboard of the OKLAHOMA. She was struck by two bombs forward. The first bomb exploded on impact; the second entered the port side below the water line and exploded, causing considerable flooding and putting the bow down about five feet.
  • In the same attack (0758), the USS WEST VIRGINIA was heavily damaged and sunk at F-6 by probably six torpedoes and two large bomb hits. The torpedo hits wrecked the port side. There was also great damage from the bomb hits and from the oil fires. The WEST VIRGINIA was moored outboard of the TENNESSEE and took the brunt of this attack. Evidence was subsequently found to indicate that three men survived below decks until 23 December 1941.
  • When the WEST VIRGINIA settled to the bottom of the harbor she squeezed hard against the USS TENNESSEE, which was moored inboard, and pushed her hard up against the forward quay, causing hull damage. In order to release the TENNESSEE it was necessary to remove about half of the reinforced concrete of the quay. TENNESSEE was also struck by two 15-inch armor piercing projectile type bombs and burned severely by oil fire on water from ARIZONA.
  • Greatest damage of all was sustained by the USS ARIZONA, moored at B-7 which was struck by one torpedo and probably seven bombs, one of which was probably 1,000 – 2,000 pounds and went down the stack. Another is believed to have penetrated to the black powder magazines, destroying the whole ship’s forward structure in the resulting explosion. The ARIZONA is still on the bottom with 1100 bodies in her. She sunk in 0758 attack.
  • The USS OKLAHOMA was berthed at F-5, outboard of the USS MARYLAND, and was struck by four aerial torpedoes. She capsized and sank at approximately 0810.
  • The USS NEVADA was moored astern of the ARIZONA at Berth f-8 and was struck by one torpedo in the initial (0758) attack. She was able to get underway at approximately 0855 and proceeded down South Channel. She was heavily attacked by dive bombers at approximately 0910, opposite YFD-2 and sustained five or six bomb hits. Two of these bombs passed through the ship and exploded, causing heavy flooding. She was beached on Waipio Peninsula, southeast of Beckoning Point and opposite of Hospital Point.
  • The USS CALIFORNIA was berthed at F-3 and was heavily damaged in the initial (0758) attack. She was struck by two torpedoes on the port side while one large bomb near miss opened a hole on the port side. Another near miss caused minor damage on the starboard side. A third bomb passed through the upper deck and exploded on the second deck, causing extensive damage. She settled slowly and sank three days after the attack.
  • The USS VESTAL was moored alongside the ARIZONA at Berth f-7, but got underway after explosion of ARIZONA’S forward magazines. She was beached on Aiea Shoal at Berth C-3 after having been struck by two 15-inch armor piercing projectile type bombs.
  • The USS CURTIS was moored at X-Ray 22, and was struck by one heavy armor piercing bomb, which exploded amidships, causing extensive damage.  Also a Japanese plane crashed on her starboard crane. This could well have been the first of the Kamikazes.
  • On the opposite side of Ford Island from the most extensive damage along Battleship Row, the USS UTAH and the USS RALEIGH were attacked. The UTAH at F-11 was probably struck by three aerial torpedoes on the port side and was sunk. She was subsequently rolled over to clear the channel, but was left on the bottom. There are still 58 of her crew entombed aboard her.
  • The USS RALEIGH was moored at berth F-12 and was struck by aerial torpedo at about Frame 56 on the port side below the armor belt. She was also hit by one 15-inch projectile type bomb which passed through several decks and went ou the port side, exploding in the water causing hull damage. She did not sink.

Courtesy of WO1 Jack Hammett, USN (Ret) who was Stationed at US Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

Air raid casualties in Britain during the first five months of 1944 totaled 1,556 killed, with 2,916 seriously injured. During the five months of Operation Steinbock, the Luftwaffe lost about 330 bombers and crews. Thus, for every five people killed on the ground, the raiders lost one bomber and four trained crewmen killed or captured. On 12 June 1944, the first V-1 Flying Bomb attack was carried out on London. Approximately 10,000 V-1s were fired at London; 2,515 reached the city, killing about 6,184 people and injuring 17,981.

On May 28, 2018 the 64th Annual Memorial Day services were held at the Harbor Lawn – Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary in Costa Mesa.