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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>