Sendai Pilot Training School Monument
Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
The Ministry of Communications and Transportation established the first two Pilot Training Schools
in Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture and Yonago City in Tottori Prefecture in 1938. These served as training facilities for pilots who would work in
the Ministry of Communications and Transportation mainly to carry mail by plane. During the
Pacific War, the Army and Navy increasingly used these Pilot Training Schools as
sources for much needed trained pilots. The Army controlled the Sendai Pilot Training School.
The Ministry of Communications and Transportation established a total of 13
Pilot Training Schools before the end of World War II. During the Pacific War,
the Army had ten of these schools, and the Navy directed the other three.
From the 13 Ministry of Communications and Transportation Pilot Training Schools, there were
a total of 3,200 men who
graduated, received supplemental flight training at Army and Navy training
bases, and became noncommissioned officers. As Japan's situation worsened toward
the end of the war, 162 graduates from Pilot Training Schools died in special
Mutsu Kokubun Niji, a Buddhist temple in Sendai City near Yakushidō Station,
has the Sendai Pilot Training School Monument near its entrance. The monument's
face has engraved "Air Monument," and the back has the following engraved words
that have faded to the point where they are barely readable.
Ministry of Communications and Transportation Civil Aviation Authority
Sendai Pilot Training School
Among the 1,022 men who trained at this school, 210 lost their lives in
battle during World War II. Remembering their heroic deeds, we offer this
heartfelt memorial tribute. We pray for world peace and that they may have
happiness in the next world.
October 17, 1981
Sergeant Saburō Miyagawa,
who spent time at Sendai Pilot Training School, died after taking off in a
special attack squadron from Chiran Air Base on June 6, 1945. His supposed
return to Chiran as a firefly became a well-known story that was the source of
the title for the 2001 Japanese film
The historical information about the Pilot Training Schools in the first two
paragraphs is from page 360 of the following book:
Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei
Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990.
Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tokyo: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha
Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.