By Jeff Livingston, Historian
Originally published in the Akahele I Ke Ka'aahi July Aug 2010 Vol.40 No. 4

A while ago my article A Stranger in Paradise appeared in the Akahele in which was discussed the appearance in 1942 of U.S. Army standard gauge ammunition boxcars in the OR&L yard at Iwilei. I stated then "What happened to these cars is a mystery. Perhaps they were returned to the mainland, used for storage or even scrapped."

We now have a partial answer. The cars were used by the U.S. Navy at Lualualei as evidenced by the undated photograph below from the John Knaus Collection, which is a part of the Hawaiian Railway Society Collection. The boxcar still bears the reporting marks for the "War Department, U.S. Army, Quartermaster Corps" U.S.O.X. and is numbered 241221. The boxcar at Iwilei was numbered 241229.

We still don't know how many of these boxcars were sent to Hawaii or what happened to them after the war but we have established that they were used by the Navy and not returned to the mainland or scrapped.

Movement of these boxcars over the OR&L was possible as they are similar in height and width to the 2-8-2 Mikado locomotives 60, 70, 80 & 90. Still, it must have been quite a sight.