Ehime Pilot Training School Monument
Saijō 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 Saijō City, in Ehime Prefecture. This kannon (goddess of
mercy) monument was erected in 1976 in the precincts of Kōonji 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.
(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