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HPD History

06/05/2013


The Duke's Stolen Hood Ornament

Circa 1965 Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku requested the assistance of the Honolulu Police Department when a gold-plated hood ornament he received from a Mr. Kimo McVay was stolen. HPD officers in the Waikiki area were notified of the stolen ornament before heading out to their patrol duties. Officers on C watch about an hour after hitting the road from line-up observed a vehicle driving through Waikiki with a hood ornament resembling the Duke's. The officers made a traffic stop on the vehicle sure that the ornament matched the Duke's only to find out that the ornament was silver plated and not gold. The officers also learned that there were other silver ornaments circulating that were given as gifts matching the Duke's gold plated hood ornament. A short time later the Duke's hood ornament was recovered and returned to him.

A historical connection to this story involves Mr. Kimo McVay who was the son of a World War II Navy Captain Charles McVay. Captain McVay commanded the doomed USS Indianapolis that carried the first atomic bomb to Tinian. The USS Indianapolis was sunk after returning from Tinian by a Japanese submarine and many personnel were lost from exposure to the elements and shark attacks.

Story and photos submitted by retired Assistant Chief Joe Aveiro.