WWII Veteran Col. Bruce Hunt (L) with Robert Dunn (R) of the Museum Board of Directors.
On Monday March 4, 2019, WWII veteran and Hawaii resident Colonel Bruce Hunt made his way to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. The trip to the Museum with his family was to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Colonel Hunt served in both World War II and the Vietnam war, flying over 300 combat missions. As a young P-40 Warhawk fighter pilot he flew 172 combat missions in North Africa and Italy during World War II assigned to the 314th Fighter Squadron, 324th Fighter Group. His role was to support British Field Marshall Montgomery’s 8th Army, front line troops, attacking artillery, munitions, and bridges. While his P-40 was hit by antiaircraft fire on at least six occasions, he escaped with no injuries or serious damage to his aircraft. Then, twenty-four years later, Colonel Hunt flew 125 additional combat missions in Vietnam.
But the visit wasn’t about the Vietnam era aircraft on display at the Museum, several with later variants flying in the world’s skies today. The trip was about the rare WWII-era P-40 Warhawk that Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum has in its hangars. The emotional moment, of an old pilot seeing a WWII aircraft like the one he flew, is something that only a few people get to witness.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum allows for stories like this to unfold like no other place on earth. The Museum is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Walk on the Pearl Harbor battlefield where the attack began, enter the bullet-scarred hangars, see the control tower and aircraft of the battle, Including a Japanese Zero and the B-17 Swamp Ghost. Hear the stories of WWII heroes and their response to the attack that changed our nation and the world. Tour Included, flight simulators and café available.
Colonel Bruce Hunt in front of the P-40E Warhawk at Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to steward America’s first aviation battlefield of World War II sharing the artifacts, personal stories, the impact and response to the December 7, 1941 attack and the pacific region battles that followed, honoring those who have defended our freedom so they might educate and inspire future generations.