In her late brother’s honor, Barbara and Bob Arthur established the Anthony Bongo Memorial Scholarship endowment to support qualified Honolulu Community College students from Wai’anae High School and Nanakuli High School who pursue a trade and technical program with preference for those in the Architecture, Engineering, and CAD Program.
Anthony Bongo was born on February 25, 1947 to Gregorio and Leonora Bongo. He was the second of four children and was a respectful and loving son and brother. He attended Wai’anae High School and served as class president during his sophomore and junior years. After graduating from high school in 1965, he attended Honolulu Community College and studied Drafting. In 1967 he earned his Associate Degree in Science in Drafting.
During this time, the Vietnam conflict was on, so he decided to protect the home front and joined the U.S. Army Reserve Unit of the Hawai’i National Guard. He went to Fort Ord for basic training and was singled out for officer training school. However, since he had no intention of making the military his life’s career, he declined the offer. Upon his return from basic training, he was employed by Hawaiian Telephone Co., and life was going according to plan.
Then suddenly in 1969, the Hawai’i National Guard and the Arkansas National Guard were activated. He quickly married his sweetheart, and ten days later he was deployed to Vietnam. Shortly upon his arrival, he was made a platoon leader and on May 20, 1969 he was killed in a combat operation protecting his men on Hamburger Hill near Thua Thien. He was laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Hawai’i. His name is etched on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. as well as on a pedestal at the Vietnam War Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol in Honolulu. For his valor, he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Silver Star and an education building was dedicated and named after him at the U.S. Army Reserve Center at Fort Shafter Flats in Honolulu.
Thank you to the AEC/CMGT and MELE programs for hosting our guests. View more photos from their visit at our Photo gallery.