Ho, Donald Tai, 1st Lt

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
17 kb
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1111N-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1957-1959, 1111N, 15th Air Base Wing
Service Years
1954 - 1959
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

160 kb

Home State
Hawaii
Hawaii
Year of Birth
1930
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SMSgt John Slusser (WD7F - Chief Admin) to remember Ho, Donald Tai (Don Ho), 1st Lt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Honolulu & Kane'ohe, Hawaii
Last Address
Honolulu, Hawaii

Date of Passing
Aug 14, 2007
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Don Ho was a Hawaiian-born American traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer. He is best known for the song "Tiny Bubbles".

Ho, a singer of Hawaiian and Chinese descent on his paternal side and Hawaiian and Portuguese descent on his mother's side, was born in the small Honoluluneighborhood of Kakaako to Emily (Honey) Leimaile Silva and James Ah You Puao Ho, but he grew up in Kaneohe on the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. He was a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools in 1949 and he attended Springfield College on a football scholarship in 1950, but returned home to earn a Bachelor's degree in sociology at University of Hawai'i in 1953. In 1954 Ho entered the United States Air Force doing his basic training at Keesler AFB, Mississippi and spent time flying fighter jets in both Texas and Hawaii. Transferred to Travis AFB, California he went to the local city of Concord and bought an electronic keyboard from a music store, and recalls, "That's when it all started."


Don married his high school sweetheart, Melva May Kolokea Wong, on November 21, 1951. She was the mother to his first 6 children. They were married for 48 years, until Melva May's death on June 8, 1999. While in the military, Ho traveled from state to state with his young family until he was called home to help his mother with the family bar business called Honey's.

Ho left the United States Air Force in 1959 due to his mother's illness and began singing at her club in Kaneohe. Honey's became a hotspot for the local entertainment and the growing customers from the Kaneohe Marine Base servicemen. Ho always honored the military remembering his own years of military service. In 1963, he moved the Kaneohe Honey's to Waikīkī. After much success, and little room to grow, promoter Kimo Wilder McVay sought Don to play at a night club called Duke's owned by Duke Kahanamoku, where he caught the attention of record company officials.

   
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 Unit Assignments
15th Air Base Wing
  1957-1959, 1111N, 15th Air Base Wing
 Colleges Attended 
University of Hawaii
  1951-1954, University of Hawaii
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-97 Stratofreighter  
  1957-1959, C-97 Stratofreighter
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