On this Memorial Day, I write this in memory of my friend.
I met Jerry Stanfield through my work with Small Business Hawaii (SBH), a non-profit, small business association. Jerry was doing photography for them, which I used in the production of their monthly newsletter.
An unfortunate incident in which several rolls of film went missing from Jerry’s vehicle after the organization’s annual conference, I became the photographer. Jerry continued as the organization’s videographer.
Our friendship went beyond the acquaintance I had with Jerry through SBH.
Jerry was a Vietnam War Veteran and a true patriot. He served for a short time in that war and was a gunner aboard a Huey helicopter. He later became a professional military photographer who eventually found his way to Schofield Barracks on Oahu.
After he left the military, Jerry kept his ties with the Army and all things military strong until his untimely end. I remember him attending many military and civilian events that honored our country and the armed services. I attended a few of those with him with both of us taking pictures at the event.
Jerry loved military history and knew a lot about military aviation. He knew the history of just about every aircraft that the U.S. armed services ever flew. One of our favorite places to visit was the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Ford Island, known for its collection of many historic aircraft.
One of the memories of that visit was when the museum first acquired its B-17 Flying Fortress. The old plane was found buried in a swamp somewhere in Indonesia. It was sent to Hawaii in many pieces. The plane was initially stored outside the museum before being relocated in Hanger 79 a few months later.
It was during this time that Jerry and I happened upon the B-17 that he was kind of in heaven walking and crawling all over the old wreck, taking many photos of the plane. I did the same. It was wonderful.
The last major military event I attended with Jerry was the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam aviation show in 2014. Jerry and I spent two full days taking in all of the various displays, shooting everything we could with our cameras including the two aerial shows put on by the Blue Angels.
Jerry was known to be a very friendly person and could strike up a conversation with anyone. He easily conversed with people. I am sure he shared his knowledge of military history and aviation with them.
With us both being interested in photography, we naturally became “gearheads” and accumulated lots of cameras and other hardware over the years. Jerry definitely had more gear than I. Before he moved to Costa Rica in 2015, Jerry donated most of his accumulated photo gear to the Assistance League of Hawaii, where he did volunteer work as their camera technician getting donated gear ready for resale at their Thrift Shop.
On Black Friday weekend of November 2014, Jerry and I helped Assistance League of Hawaii sell most of his gear to photo enthusiasts who waited in line to get their hands on the best gear that day. Most of the camera gear were sold that day.
Today, I am the guy that prepares cameras for resale at Assistance League of Hawaii.
I could tell you many more things about Jerry, including the time he helped me after my heart attack and also working with him for a session at the State Legislature. As many people know, Jerry was also a modeler engaging in building detailed replicas of military aircraft.
A few years ago Jerry built a model jeep towing a canon and donated it to someone at the Fort DeRussy Army Museum. Jerry also loved motorcycles and was the proud owner of several of them.
Jerry was a victim of a traffic accident last year in Costa Rica and sadly passed away this past April from the serious injuries he received as a result. I could not write much about this until now.
His sister Jane, notified me of his passing earlier this month and wrote: “On a cloudless morning in April 2022, Jerry heard the reveille call and with a “Get’er Done,” quietly strapped into his celestial Huey for the last time.
Well done, soldier.”
On this Memorial Day, it is important to remember our fallen veterans and soldiers. It is good to also remember them in life. Jerry enjoyed his life after being in the military. He was a good man, loyal soldier and most of all my friend. Aloha to you Jerry. May you rest in peace for all eternity.
— Melvin Ah Ching, Editor & Publisher
From Jane Stanfield, – April 2022
- Roxboro High School 1959 school spirit award
- Mars Hill College student
- Vietnam Vet
- Army Air Corps helicopter “shotgunner”
- Professional Photographer
- Longtime resident of Honolulu, Hawaii
- Lately resident of his much loved Costa Rica
- Tongue-in-cheek country music composer
- Respected modeler of military aircraft
- Incorrigible punster
- And all around much loved good guy
“On a cloudless morning in April 2022, Jerry heard the reveille call and with a “Get’er Done,” quietly strapped into his celestial Huey for the last time.
Well done, soldier.”
Jerry Stanfield Links
- Obituary Link – http://www.personcountylife.com/stories/jerry-lee-stanfield,33545
- Vietnam Photos – https://www.281st.com/Photos/albums/jerry_stanfield_2/
- Dropbox Video – https://www.dropbox.com/s/ft7mwnu7clpqy1v/Jerry%20Stanfield.mp4?dl=0
- Jeepers, Creepers Gotta Have My Peepers, Honolulu Star Bulletin
- Celebration of the Century, Honolulu Star Bulletin
- Jerry Stanfield, Retired Army Veteran and Volunteer
- A Lot of Effort to Capture Our Ten Percent, HawaiiReporter
- U.S. Navy Blue Angels Breakout, HawaiiReporter