Hawaii hero remembered - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii hero remembered

Herbert Pilila'au Herbert Pilila'au
Captain Richard Malloy. Captain Richard Malloy.
MaryEllen Pilila'au MaryEllen Pilila'au

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) - Herbert Pilila'au's ultimate sacrifice in the Korean War earned him the Medal of Honor. But now his name is attached to something bigger, much bigger, to carry his memory and brave deeds.

Crews are busy at Pearl Harbor, driving military vehicles onto a nearly thousand foot long ship. They are also putting containers in place in preparation for their next mission.

The ship can hold an impressive amount of cargo, enough to fill 8 Aloha Stadium football fields. All of which can be loaded in as little as 4 days and unloaded in half that time.

"The capabilities of this ship are like no other ship. Its a combination of size speed and handling, it goes special places and does special things." said the ship's Captain, Richard Malloy.

But this ship also has a special name. Pilila'au.

Named after Hawaii soldier Herbert Pilila'au, who died in the Korean War when he stayed behind as his fellow soldiers retreated. He engaged the enemy to make sure other American soldiers survived.

His family came aboard the ship, to get a tour of his namesake and to share gifts with the Captain and crew. But his family also receives special gifts as well. Not only pictures of the Pilila'au sailing in Hawaiian waters, but even more important, they heard that stories of Herbert are told wherever the ship docks.

"All over the world people come on and ask about the name. And what he did to win the Medal of Honor. We actually tell the story of Herbert and what he did for the country." said Malloy.

"We're happy that the Captain says everybody asks about Herbert. Its an honor to have a ship named after him and its an honor that people want to know his history. He was brave and he gave his life for our country." said MaryEllen Pilila'au.

The ship is not only used for military missions, but also humanitarian ones. It helped take supplies to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The Pilila'au's next stop after Hawaii, a training mission off southern California.

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