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1940s Kapalama and WWII

January 6, 1940
EDWIN MURRAY KSB 1909 (pictured left) is the first Kamehameha Schools graduate to be named Trustee of the Bishop Estate.

September 2, 1940
KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOL FOR BOYS LEAVES KA’IWIULA for the new Kapalama campus and a new school year

May 1941
The baobab tree (above left) planted by the first graduating class of Kamehameha School for Boys in 1891 is moved from the Manual School at Kaiwiula to Kapalama across the road from Paki Hall. Eleven members of KSB Class of 1891 are present for the replanting.

December 7, 1941
PEARL HARBOR IS BOMBED BY THE JAPANESE (below left). THE U.S. OFFICIALLY ENTERS WWII. One errant shell nosed its way over the boys’ dorms and exploded in the stone railing at the main road bend by the plumeria grove beyond Faculty Rd (Below right).


December 8, 1941
School was dismissed. The army moved in and occupied Hale Ola and Iolani Hall (Provisional Hospital No. 1 U.S. Army–primarily for women and children injured or shocked during the Japanese raid and later a maternity hospital-Below right. Ka Moi January 23 1942).

1942-43 School year
School resumed January 12 with a few less boys, many of whom were able to secure work because the need for skilled and semi-skilled labor was so great. Colonel King, the Army Department Surgeon told Dr. Homer Barnes they would need space for 600 patient beds 100-200 enlisted men and the necessary doctors and nurses to care for around 600 patients. Colonel King preferred the Girl’s school, and after careful consideration, it was decided that the Girl’s school would move down to the Boy’s school area. Girls share facilities with the boys until 1946. Pictured below: (Left) Bill Puniwai and Curtis Kamai guard Kamehameha’s water reservoir, (Center) Barbed wire fencing around Bishop Hall, (Right) January 23, 1942 edition of Ka Moi.

September 6, 1943
PREPARATORY DEPARTMENT REOPENS as a co-educational day school under the direction of Principal LELA BREWER.

September 1944
SENIOR DIVISION BOYS in grades 10, 11, and 12 choose from one of three courses:

  • Course I–A general course, or commercial business prep. course
  • Course II–A vocational course to teach the trades.
  • Course III–A college prep. course.

CHARLES T. PARRENT is Acting Principal-in-Charge.

December 19, 1944
The Girl’s School observes its 50th Anniversary.

J.R.O.T.C. is reactivated since its closing during WWII.

APRIL 15 Princess Abigail Campbell Kawananakoa is the last ali’i interred at Mauna ‘Ala. 100 KS cadets are the honor guard at the funeral and the Glee Club performs.

August 1, 1946
HAROLD W. “COLONEL” KENT is president from 1946 to 1964.

Reverend STEPHEN DESHA, Jr. KSB 1903, teaches ‘ōlelo Hawai’i at the Boys School. He tutors President Kent, who becomes proficient. In 1949, he creates the Kamehameha Deputation Team to serve Neighbor Island churches. KSB 1951 classmates, DAVID KAUPU, JAMES MERSBERG and WILLIAM KAINA became ordained ministers as a result of their participation.


JANUARY – The entire student body takes the final train ride from ‘Iwilei around Ka’ena Point on the O’ahu Railway and Land Company line before it closes.


SEPTEMBER – JEAN KELLEY is the first student from Ni’ihau.


MARCH – Kamehameha School for Boys Alumni Clubhouse opens at 2290 Liliha Street with a lu’au and more than 3000 guests.


NOVEMBER – A record album, Songs of Hawai’i, by the Boys and Girls Schools is recorded on the 60th anniversary of the founding of Kamehameha School for Boys.


Kamehameha is accredited by the NORTHWESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY AND HIGHER SCHOOLS. There are 1000 students altogether at the Kapalama campus.


JANUARY – New tennis courts are dedicated.


FEBRUARY – Kamehameha Schools Press publishes a book of Hawaiian legends, Pikoi by MARY KAWENA PUKU’I and Kumu CAROLINE CURTIS. Student RICHARD GOINGS, KSB 1950, is the illustrator.


SEPTEMBER – Kumu ALLEN BAILEY becomes Boys School Acting Principal. He becomes a beloved and influential Principal.