Ozuki Air Base Peace Monument
This monument is dedicated to about 70 pilots who took off from Ozuki Air
Base and died in battle. These pilots belonged mainly to the Army's 4th and 47th
Sentai (Air Group).
The 4th Sentai had a special attack unit, called Kaiten Seiku Tai, which made
ramming attacks on B-29s during bombing missions over Japan. Two pilots from
this unit, Second Lieutenant Miosaburō Yamamoto and Sergeant Major Tsutomu
Murata, are included on the Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association's
list of men who died in all types of Army and Navy special attacks (often
referred to as "suicide attacks" outside Japan) .
These two pilots brought down B-29 Superfortresses on April 18 and May 7, 1945,
respectively, when they rammed B-29s with their Ki-45 Toryū (Dragon
Killer) fighter planes (codenamed "Nick" by Allies) .
On August 20, 1944, Sergeant Shigeo Nobe made a ramming attack against a
B-29, which downed this aircraft and also a second B-29 hit by flaming debris
from the collision . Nobe made this ramming attack
on his own accord, and it occurred before formation of a formal special attack
unit in the 4th Sentai, so Nobe's attack is not recognized as a special attack
("tokkō" in Japanese) even though he died in the same way as Yamamoto
Several pilots of the 4th Sentai claimed to have shot down multiple B-29s.
Warrant Officer Sadamitsu Kimura claimed 22 B-29s destroyed before being killed
by Superfortress gunners in July 1945, but historians have attributed him with
eight B-29 victories. Japanese pilots tended to overestimate the number of kills
since they claimed a victory when a B-29 started smoking and appeared to be
going down, even though the plane ended up surviving. 
The Ozuki Air Base Peace Monument is located on the grounds of Renjoji
Temple, on a hill with a view of the runway of the JMSDF (Japan Maritime
Self-Defense Force) Flight School. Renjoji Temple is near the main gate of the
JMSDF Ozuki Air Base. Also on the temple grounds is a monument with a poem
written by Second Lieutenant Miosaburō Yamamoto.
Yuko Shirako provided the photo and information about this monument.
1. Tokkōtai Senbotsusha 1990, 299.
2. Takaki and Sakaida 2001, 104-6.
3. Takaki and Sakaida 2001, 14-6.
4. Takaki and Sakaida 2001, 118, 123.
Takaki, Koji, and Henry Sakaida. 2001. B-29 Hunters of the
JAAF. Botley, UK: Osprey Publishing.
Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei
Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990.
Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha
Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.