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Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument
Yachimata City, Chiba Prefecture

Yachimata Airfield opened in March 1941 as the Shimoshizu Army Flight School Yachimata Branch. As the war situation become more intense, in June 1944 the Flight School turned into a fighting unit as the Shimoshizu Kyōdō Hikō Shidan (Training Air Division). Also, a Kyōdō Hikōtai (Flight Training Unit) and a Hikōjō Daitai (Airfield Battalion) were assigned to Yachimata Airfield. Cutting-edge Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft, also known as Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Allied code name of Dinah), were deployed to Yachimata.

In May 1985, a monument was erected in remembrance of units that used the Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft. The front of the monument has engraved the following:

Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument

The many units of the Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft left great achievements in the global history of air battles. At this location primarily there was training, and they took off from here to all theaters of operations in East Asia. Many men did not return again.

The back of the monument has the following information:

Command Reconnaissance Aircraft Units That Participated in Second Sino-Japanese War and Pacific War

The Command Reconnaissance Aircraft was in those days the most powerful plane in the world. By making use of its high speed and capability to fly at high altitude, a single plane ably carried out strategic reconnaissance over a wide area and contributed in execution of air operations.

Also, during the latter part of World War II armed aircraft were deployed to fight against B-29s and to attack warships in air raids and special (suicide) attack squadrons. A similar case of such an Army Air Force special plane type with varied uses surely was not seen in the world.

Next on the monument's back side there is a listing of units that used the Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft:

2nd Hikō Sentai (Air Regiment), 8th Hikō Sentai, 10th Hikō Sentai, 15th Hikō Sentai, 28th Hikō Sentai, 29th Hikō Sentai, 38th Hikō Sentai, 44th Hikō Sentai, 81st Hikō Sentai, 82nd Hikō Sentai, 106th Hikō Sentai, 16th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai (Independent Air Squadron), 17th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 18th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 19th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 41st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 50th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 51st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 55th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 63rd Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 70th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 74th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 76th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 81st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 85th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 1st Dokuritsu Hikōtai (Independent Air Unit), 2nd Dokuritsu Hikōtai, 4th Dokuritsu Hikōtai, 12th Dokuritsu Hikōtai, 16th Dokuritsu Hikōtai, Shimoshizu Kyōdō Hikō Shidan (Training Air Division), several related units


Back of Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument

Although the monument and a nearby information sign indicate that Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft participated in special (suicide) attacks, no specifics are provided. Hara (2004, 196, 202, 225) and Osuo (2005, 207) indicate that the following pilots of Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft died in special attacks:

  • 2 on April 7, 1945, after sortie from Kanoya Air Base
  • 2 on April 12,1945, after sortie from Kanoya Air Base
  • 3 on May 14, 1945, after sortie from Fukuoka

Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 353) indicates that another two pilots of Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft died in a special attack after a sortie from Miyakonojō West Airfield on April 12, 1945, but Hara and Osuo do not mention this. Kanoya was a Navy air base, but it was used sometimes by Army aircraft during the Battle of Okinawa.

Sources Cited

Hara, Katsuhiro. 2004. Shinsō kamikaze tokkō: Hisshi hitchū no 300 nichi (Kamikaze special attack facts: 300 days of certain-death, sure-hit attacks). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kojinsha.

Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990. Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.