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Ehime Pilot Training School Monument
Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture

The Ministry of Communications and Transportation established 13 Pilot Training Schools before the end of World War II. The first two, established in 1938, served as training facilities for pilots who would work in the Ministry of Communications and Transportation primarily to carry mail by plane. As the war progressed, the Army and Navy increasingly used these Pilot Training Schools as sources for much needed trained pilots.

Ehime Pilot Training School was opened in 1942, and the school provided petty officers for the Navy. The school was located in Komatsu Town, now part of Saijo City, in Ehime Prefecture. This kannon (goddess of mercy) monument was erected in 1976 in the precincts of Koonji Temple.

The plaque on the stone slab to the right of the walkway up to the kannon statue has the following inscription:

This monument honors men who during the Pacific War fought in battle or sortied in kamikaze special attack squadrons either far away in the clouds of southern seas or nearby in skies in and around mainland Japan. In order to console the spirits from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation Ehime Pilot Training School, this monument was erected on November 3, 1976, through the contributions of classmates and former workers at the school.

The kannon (goddess of mercy) statue, including the pedestal, stands three meters in height, and a young eagle dressed in a flight suit with his spirit resting peacefully has been placed on the right-hand palm. Inside the pedestal have been placed the names of the 21 special attack corps members who were killed, over 100 others who died in battle, and workers at the school who died.

The plaque on the back of the kannon pedestal lists the names of donors and has the following inscription at the top:

Young men with dreams of the great blue sky came here to Komatsu in Ehime. They forged their spirits and trained their bodies with dreams of becoming future pilots. In the Greater East Asia War, over 100 of them sacrificed themselves in the skies in defense of their homeland as their planes hit targets. Here their classmates and other supporters gather together and erect this monument. We pray that their distinguished service will be remembered and their souls will rest in peace forever.

Pilot standing in right-hand palm of
kannon (goddess of mercy) statue