Only search Kamikaze Images

56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Iwadate Unit Monument
Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture

The 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron members trained and waited for slightly more than two months at Ena Bay, located at the end of Miura Peninsula about 15 km south of Yokosuka Naval Base. The young men, mostly aged 16 or 17 years, were trained as pilots of shin'yō explosive motorboats designed to crash into enemy ships as they neared the shore, but they all survived until the end of the war since the anticipated Allied invasion of mainland Japan never materialized.

In 2005, surviving squadron members and other supporters erected a monument to remember the 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron. The squadron also is referred to as the Iwadate Unit, since the squadron commander was Lieutenant Junior Grade Yasuo Iwadate.

Directly in front of the monument stands an umbrella pine tree. A wooden post next to the tree identifies it as a "Navy Special Attack Corps Memorial Tree."

The monument has the following inscription:

56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Iwadate Unit Monument

In the final stage of the Pacific War, the Imperial Navy, which took pride in being the best, lost many ships and aircraft before American forces with superior material resources, and the war reached the phase of the decisive battle for the mainland.

At that time, the Navy made preparations for an American landing on the mainland and pursued the development and production of special attack (suicide) weapons for air, surface, and underwater. Among the surface special attack weapons was a special attack boat named "shin'yō" (meaning "ocean shaker"). There was a Model 1 boat (length of 5.1 meters, width of 1.65 meters, one gasoline engine, crew of one) and a Model 5 boat (length of 6.5 meters, width of 1.68 meters, two gasoline engines, crew of two). Both carried 250 kg of explosives in the bow. These boats were human bombs to carry out taiatari (body-crashing) attacks against the enemy fleet under cover of dark nights. The shin'yō pilots were organized into four groups with 5 officers and 51 petty officers in total. The petty officers came from the Tsuchiura Naval Air Group Kō Preparatory Flight Training Program (Yokaren). After graduation, they received special attack training in the Totsugeki Corps at Kawatana in Kyūshū. On June 5, 1945, as a shield for the defense of the mainland, the 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Iwadate Unit was deployed here to the Matsuwa area and reported for duty.

The unit's headquarters were at Fukusenji Temple, and the petty officer crewmen were lodged at four private homes. The special attack base was located at Ena Bay, and tunnels were dug into the eastern and western cliffs of Ena Bay. The shin'yō boats were stored for the 3rd and 4th groups on the eastern side and for the 1st and 2nd groups on the western side. Training took place at night to avoid detection by enemy planes. There were a total of 183 members in the unit with 5 officer boat pilots, 51 petty officer pilots, and 127 base and maintenance workers. Without one person dying in battle, at the war's end on August 15, 1945, they were able to return safely to their own hometowns.

We bequeath to future generations through the words on this monument the fact that the 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Iwadate Unit was here in this place for the short period of just more than two months. Here where there has been no war for 60 years since the end of the war, we pray for world peace and prosperity.

May 27, 2005
Chiyoda Matsuwa Association and Other Supporters

The back of the monument lists the names of the 56 shin'yō boat pilots of the 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron.

View of Ena Bay, where motorboats
of the 56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron
 were hidden in tunnels along shore

Fukusenji Temple, wartime headquarters for the 56th Shin'yō Squadron, is located about one kilometer from Ena Bay. The monument dedicated to the 56th Shin'yō Squadron stands to the left of the stone path leading to Fukusenji Temple's main hall.

Main hall of Fukusenji Temple,
which served as headquarters for
56th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron