top of page


Located on the shore of Hilo Bay, Veterans Memorial Park on the Island of Hawai’i, honors Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The focal point of this memorial is a large white plinth supporting black marble panels engraved with the names of Hawai’i County Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Atop the structure is an eternal flame, symbolizing our gratitude and acknowledging that although they are gone, they will never be forgotten. Nearby, smaller in stature yet equally revered, stands an obelisk honoring those who were lost in Korea.

Adjacent to the memorials commemorating Vietnam and Korea, a free-standing pillar displays a photo of the US Army transport ship Royal T. Frank and tells its tragic story. In 1942, the ship was carrying 60 people, including 26 Hawaiian soldiers who had just completed boot camp on Oahu, through the Alenuihaha Channel between the islands of Hawai’i and Maui. This was a particularly tense time in Hawaii and out of an abundance of caution, the Royal T. Frank was sent as part of a three-ship convoy that included a Navy destroyer. Unfortunately, the tactic proved to be no deterrent. After two misses, a third torpedo deployed from a Japanese submarine hit the ship, sinking it in less than a minute. Thirty-six people survived the attack, including nine servicemen, many of whom spent hours clinging to debris in the ocean until they were finally picked up by the ammunition barge that had been the intended target. Seventeen young soldiers died that day. Their surviving comrades, coined the ‘Torpedo Gang,’ set aside time every year on January 28 to remember their fallen buddies. While two of the survivors are still considered missing in action, it is presumed none survived long enough to see the erection of their memorial in 2019.


Stone Group Architects (SGA) is a proud supporter of our Veterans and Military Memorials. While we are strong supporters, SGA is independent from the memorials and does not claim responsibility of building or funding these memorials. SGA is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small business (SDVOSB) architectural firm, providing planning and design services to a variety of government clients.

bottom of page