Matsuyama Naval Air Group Site Monument
Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture
In October 1943, Matsuyama Air Group was formed to provide preparatory
flight training for the Navy's Yokaren trainees. Late in the Pacific War, many
Yokaren airmen died in suicide attacks as part of the Kamikaze Special Attack
In 2001, a monument was erected by former Matsuyama Yokaren trainees at the
site of the former airfield, which was converted in 1952 to a civilian airport.
A stone post has engraved "Matsuyama Naval Air Group Site." A stone plaque next
to the post has inscribed the following history:
Here at the former site of Matsuyama Naval Air Group during the
Greater East Asia War, there were trainees for the Navy's Hikō Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program). As airmen they undertook rigorous
training day and night. They did not leave this place without a firm belief
of victory over the enemy.
As the war situation became more and more critical, it appeared there
would be a decisive battle with an American invasion of the homeland.
Ultimately the Air Group members, dedicated to lay down their lives on
behalf of their country, left Matsuyama ready to die during the national
crisis. Some became members in the Special Attack Corps, and others served
as personnel to protect the coast.
Many years after the war's end, it can be said that nothing remains of
the prior physical appearance. In this place we erect a monument on the site
of the former Air Group's base with remnants of our dreams as Yokaren
trainees of Matsuyama Naval Air Group.
The back of the stone plaque gives information about the monument's erection:
Erected June 1, 2001
Matsuyama Air Group 14th Kō Yokaren Class
Ehime Matsuyama Air Group Association
Kumamoto Matsuyama Air Group Association
From January to April 1945, Matsuyama Airfield was also the home base of the
Navy's famous 343 Kōkūtai (Air Group) headed by Captain Minoru Genda.