008HH - US Navy Honolulu Hula T-shirt - WINTER 2018
We were recently given the opportunity to purchase a rare estate find US Navy Honolulu Hula Girl t-shirt that was likely purchased at Pearl Harbor during WWII. This tee with attractive hula girl dancing on the island was so unique, unlike any other period USN tee we had ever seen, that we decided to recreate this beauty for your wearing pleasure.
Victory-1945 has faithfully redrawn this graphic capturing every detail of the original for your wearing pleasure.
This war-era tee is being offered in a limited Fall 2018 run and is silk screened on a Runabout Simple Milk (off-white) t-shirt with faded navy blue water based ink. Each shirt comes with a dual sided graphic hang tag, hand inked with tee specifications and the edition number, which is attached to a vintage USN brass laundry safety pin with patriotic red, white, and blue twine.
This design is 100% Made in the USA featuring the best period correct t-shirt available. Runabout Goods Simple Tee is 100% tubular cotton, pre-shunk (sanforized), with traditional 1940's fit, blind stitch hems, 3/4" bias cut rib collar with 1/8" double needle cover-stitch, and is Made in Los Angeles, CA.
****A brief history of the WWII Honolulu Hula Girl - Excerpt from How America's Obsession With Hula Girls Almost Wrecked Hawaii, by Lisa Hix****
The fragrant fantasy of Hawaii was already in the air—thanks to the 1940 hap-haole hit “Lovely Hula Hands”—when Japanese forces bombed the U.S. Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Now, young men who’d never left their hometowns would experience the Hawaii dream firsthand.
“Hawaii was flooded with American soldiers and sailors,” Heimann writes. “The islands were a jumping-off point for the Pacific battleground and the military personnel were usually young and naive. … The hula girl, already a familiar figure, was suddenly a tangible presence, albeit a stylized and packaged one.”
While Hawaii and the dream of a Polynesian paradise has been popular before the war, the millions of men serving the Pacific Theater only amplified it. While many who served suffered from brutal battles among the heat and mosquitoes of the South Seas, the allure of island women offered them mental escape. Pin-ups and girlie magazines were popular morale-boosting gifts for young sailors. Servicemen at Pearl Harbor spent their wages on photo packets of topless hula girls they would have been too embarrassed to buy at home. They returned to the mainland with hula-girl lamps, playing cards, cigarette lighters, and pillow shams, making the caricature a nationwide fad.
The flow of sailors through Honolulu meant big business for former Navy man Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who offered unique thick-lined tattoos of pin-ups, hula girls, and other Hawaiian themes at the arcades on Hotel Street. Collaborating with a Chinese tattoo artist, he launched Tom & Jerry’s tattoo shop during the war, where the two also ran a photo booth where servicemen could have a photo snapped with a “hula girl” played by Tom’s wife.