The Original Question

This website is the last in a series of trial sites that describe a digital history project I have been working on and off for the past few years. The Kam Zero Project originally started with an attempt to answer a simple question, but over time it has developed into a full-fledged investigation that leverages multiple online resources. Because of this, it is an excellent example of digital forensics, or how different online sources can be investigated and cross-referenced for evidence. I hope you enjoy this site, but as you review it bear in mind that like most research projects it is still in progress. If you are so inclined, please contact me at My E-mail to let me know what you think, contribute articles or ideas.

The photo that started the searchOn December 7th, 1941, a Japanese Mitsubishi Type 0 (“Zero”) with tail number AI-154 crashed on the site of what was then part of the US Army Coast Artillery post of Fort Kamehameha. This US Navy photograph of the crashed Zero shown to the left is one of the better known images of the attack and appears in many books and online documents. These sources identify the crash site as “Building 52” or a machine shop.1 Today, many of the original buildings on the site of the fort have been demolished, and there is currently no Building 52. The only WWII-era structures remaining are a majority of the old officer's quarters, which are still in use. During the mid-1970s, my family lived at Fort Kamehameha (“Fort Kam” as it was known) in Quarters 4. These houses began at the east end of the Fort and were numbered sequentially along Worchester Road, the main street. Curiously, the first house was Quarters 2. Legend among the residents was that Quarters 1 had been destroyed on December 7th. The photo of the Kam Zero, with buildings that looked much like the officers quarters in the background, lent credence to this legend. A few years ago, the question of where the Zero crashed and what happened to the plane and it's pilot were raised again. Using mostly online resources, I commenced to find out.

Typical Fort Kam Quarters The photo to the right is a typical set of officer's quarters. These were constructed around 1915 for the families of the officers assigned to the Coast Artillery regiments billeted at Fort Kam. If one looks at the Kam Zero picture, one will see that the rooflines and window arrangements of the buildings across the street from the crash site are very similar to those of this house. This similarity provided some evidence to support the claim that the Kam Zero crashed into Quarters #1. A description of this style of quarters can be found in the Historic Military Quarters Handbook.

1 Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images