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Hakata Naval Air Group Monument
Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture

The Hakata Naval Air Group Monument used to be one of the pillars of the gate into the Navy air base next to Hakata Bay. The monument now stands behind the Management Office Building of Uminonakamichi Seaside Park near the marina.

The front of the monument has an engraved plaque that reads, "Remains of Hakata Naval Air Group." The engraved metal sign on the back of the monument gives the following history:

This area of scenic beauty with its white sand and green pine trees is famous together with Shikanoshima as an ancient battlefield for the Battle of Koan during the Mongol invasion. More recently at the beginning part of the Showa Era, the former Japanese Navy recognized the importance of air power. In a period when training air groups were established in various places, an air group for seaplanes was established in 1940 here also at Saitozaki and was called the Hakata Air Group. Subsequently, training for land-based aircraft also was instituted here [1].

Young Air Group members of about 20 years of age risked their lives and worked day and night at flight training in order to face the country's crisis. In the spring of 1945, the Hakosaki Squadron, Kashii Squadron, Fukuteki Squadron, and special attack squadrons were formed, and they spread out to bases at Hitoyoshi (Kumamoto Prefecture) and Kagoshima. Also, seaplane squadrons sortied toward Okinawa for intercept operations. Many young men died in battle, and the true history that they became the foundation stone for today's peace was not made known.

The establishment of this monument will preserve forever the air base gate of the former Hakata Naval Air Group as a place of historic interest. With a desire for world peace, this monument will tell future generations of the Air Group's history.

Erected on December 8, 1985
Former Air Group members and other volunteers

The engraved metal sign on the right side has a listing of contributors for preservation of the gate and creation of the monument.

In March 1944, Hakata Naval Air Group established a detachment for training seaplane crewmen in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture. One year later Amakusa became an independent air group from which several men died as part of attacks by the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps during the Battle of Okinawa.

Note

1. Training for land-based aircraft began in April 1944 soon after establishment of the Hakata Naval Air Group seaplane detachment in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture.