Veterans

October 31, 2013

Pearl Harbor survivor joins shipmates in final resting place

The family of Pearl Harbor survivor Coxswain Gale Mohlenbrink gathers at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island (right of photo)to scatter his ashes. Mohlenbrink’s remains joined the remains of more than 50 Sailors still aboard the USS Utah (BB 31) wreckage which was sunk during the 1941 attacks.

The ashes of Gale Mohlenbrink, a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, were scattered in the waters by his family near the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during a ceremony Oct. 29.

He wished to be returned to Pearl Harbor, a place he always called paradise, to be reunited with his shipmates killed on that historic day.

“Today we return a shipmate back to his brothers in arms at this most hallowed spot,” said Capt. Lawrence Scruggs, deputy commander, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

Among those in attendance were Mohlenbrink’s wife, Onah, and daughters Shiela and Corinne. Several Pearl Harbor Sailors were also on hand to pay respects to one of their own. Chaplain Lt. Rick Tiff, Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel, presided over the services.

Military honors included a gun salute and the presentation of the burial flag to the family by the Honors and Ceremonies, Joint Base Color Guard.

Following the speeches by Scruggs and Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivor liaison, the family gathered on the walkway of the Utah Memorial where Mohlenbrink’s wife and daughter scattered his ashes into the water.

“It really gave me a sense of closure,” said Onah. “He didn’t really like to talk about what happened but he came back to visit many times. It was important to him and he always called this place paradise.”

“Gale Mohlenbrink was born in February of 1924 and joined the Navy at the tender age of 17. Needless to say, he witnessed the horrific attack at a very young age,” said Taylor.

Mohlenbrink was stationed to the heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA 26), which was out to sea at the time of the attack. However, Mohlenbrink was assigned to work ashore on the Captain’s Gig and witnessed the attack unfold on Pearl Harbor.

“He had been assigned the highly impressive job of assisting in the overhaul and restoration of the Captains Gig,” said Scruggs. “A job entrusted to only the best Sailors, those who could be counted on to come to work early and stay late, the best of the best.”

After the attack Mohlenbrink worked to rescue his shipmates and went on patrol in the Hawaiian waters searching for the Japanese Battle Fleet. Heavily outnumbered after the attack, it was considered a potential suicide mission and yet he performed his duties with honor.

Mohlenbrink went on to serve his country with honor aboard USS Northampton in the Doolittle Raid, Battle of Midway and Battle of Guadalcanal earning six battle stars before the Northampton sunk in the battle of Tassafaronga. He survived her sinking, floating in shark infested waters until a Navy destroyer rescued him and fellow shipmates.

He later served combat duty on destroyer USS Edison (DD 439), fighting across the globe, before returning to Pearl Harbor in support of the final battles with Japan. He served throughout World War II in Pearl Harbor.

Gale Mohlenbrink passed away July 7th, 2013 of natural causes. With assistance from his family and the United States Navy, his final wish to return to the place he called paradise has come true.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>