Statue of King Kamehameha

Statue of King Kamehameha

USS Denebola page

Honolulu, Hawaii

Travels and Sightseeing

Photographs taken by US Navy sailors in WW2

By , April, 2010. Updated March 21, 2012.

Honolulu was the main U.S. naval base in the Pacific during WW2, and a welcome port-of-call for the sailors, who were delighted to tour its monuments, beaches, and landmarks on sightseeing trips. My father, Milton W. Sherman, on board the USS Denebola, visited Honolulu, Oahu in 1945. His captions and comments in italics.

Since we were in Hawaii for a short time we felt we were lucky to have even one all day liberty. It is surprising how much sightseeing can be done in so short a time. During the tour of the island we stopped to visit the very formally landscaped grounds of the Mormon Temple. It is a point of interest and worth seeing, but I don't remember much about the place. I have some snapshots that we purchased there and I guess if it were not for those it would have been forgotten.

The memory is a funny thing: Mine proved quite effective with something much more prosaic than the Mormon place, and that was two types of fruit that are grown in Hawaii but not on mainland United Sates: Papayas and Mangos. They are much more delicious there than around here because they are tree ripened in Hawaii. Of course both fruits can be purchased around here (Connecticut) now, but at that time neither was available here.

For my taste, the Papayas are better. They are more melon-like and Mangos are more citrus-like. When we tried eating the Papayas while standing up they were so juicy and slipery that the juice ran down our hands and arms and so proved to be quite a challenge. But they were tasty, having what seemed to me a trace of pine flavor, or I guess what pine smells like. They do not resemble any other fruit that we know of.

The Mangos had a tough green skin that had to be peeled something like an Orange. But they had a property that is absent in an orange, and that is a stringy pulp that appeared to be attached to the skin making them nearly impossible to peel. Most of us agreed that Papayas were worth the trouble and Mangos were not.

Samoan Village, Hawaii

Samoan Village?

Samoan village we visited on the tour.

Sunset, Hawaii


a pretty sunset. Palm trees are nice, but give me pines and hemlocks.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

In the background is the volcano crater called Diamond Head. It is a nice enough beach, but not what it is cracked up to be. A friend and I swam in this very spot, the afternoon we were there.

King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii

King Street, Honolulu

This must be King Street, the main drag of Honolulu. Notice the rugged mountains in the background, and also the woman on the corner glowering at the camera.

dancer, Hawaii dancer
Liberty party on Oahu, Hawaii

Liberty party from the Denebola on Oahu

This is Oahu, where the beaches were so bright, sunglasses were a must. Our chaplain, Emmanuel Hammer, is the big man on the extreme right. I (Milton W. Sherman) am on the chaplain's right, squatting in the first row.

Diamond Head, Hawaii

Diamond Head by moonlight

The ships pass by it when entering Honolulu. When we came in it did not look like this though; the bay was full of ships and the sky full of planes.

Mormon Temple, Hawaii

Mormon Temple

Several miles from Honolulu. I visited this place on the tour; it's very beautiful and the last word in landscape architecture. There were many pretty birds around here.


Memoirs and photographs of Milton W. Sherman (1919-2010). He served in the U.S. Navy during WW2, on board the USS Denebola, AD-12, when he was in mid-twenties. On board the Denebola, he sailed to Hawaii in late 1944, where he bought these vintage postcards from street vendors and the photos from the ship's photographer. You might enjoy reading a fuller version of his travels in the Denebola.