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Amakusa Naval Air Group Monument
Amakusa City, Kumamoto Prefecture

The Amakusa Air Group was formed in March 1944 as a detachment of the Hakata Naval Air Group in Fukuoka Prefecture. The base at Amakusa, an island off the west coast of Kumamoto Prefecture, had more than 50 seaplanes, including Type 0 Observation Seaplanes, Type 93 Intermediate Trainer Seaplanes, and Type 95 Reconnaissance Seaplanes (Allied code names of Pete, Willow, and Dave, respectively). [1]

The monument, erected in August 1973, has the following inscription on the front:

Amakusa Naval Air Group
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Monument

A sign just outside the gate to the fenced-in monument area gives the following history of the Amakusa Air Group:

During the Pacific War, the Amakusa Naval Air Group was based in this area. The Amakusa Naval Air Group was a training air group that trained seaplane pilots. However, in March 1945 when signs of Japan's defeat became more pronounced, the designation as a training air group was eliminated, and it became a Kamikaze Special Attack Corps base where their planes loaded with bombs took off to crash into enemy ships.

After several months of intense special attack training in which three men died, the first special attack squadron took off in the latter part of May 1945, and the second squadron sortied in the latter part of June. By the light of the moon they flew toward Okinawa, and 16 young men in 8 planes died as they dove into enemy ships.

We build here this monument on a hill overlooking the Ariake Sea in order to honor the spirits of these Kamikaze Special Attack Corps members and others connected with the Amakusa Naval Air Group who died in battle.

Amakusa Air Group Association
Hondo [2] Tourist Association

The Amakusa Air Group pilots flew Type 0 Observation Seaplanes in their kamikaze attacks. Most sources indicate the Amakusa Air Group seaplanes did not make these attacks directly from Amakusa, but rather the planes flew first to Ibusuki Air Base at the southern end of Kyushu and then sortied from there.


Sign to monument with painting of
Type 0 Observation Seaplane (Pete)

Notes

1. The information in the first paragraph comes from a web page about the monument. This web page is in the Archives of Culture and Nature in Kumamoto, a section of the web site maintained by Kumamoto Prefectural Government. The web page address is the following:
<http://www.pref.kumamoto.jp/arinomama/contents_dbpac/asp/bunkazai/s_frame.asp?id=871&group_id=6&pageCnt=4&order_kind=&disp_img=&syu=&syu2=> (February 22, 2008), link no longer available.

2. In March 2006, Hondo City merged with Ushibuka City and eight smaller towns to become Amakusa City.