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Ōdōtsu 117th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Monument
Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture

In the last year of World War II, the Japanese Navy deployed many shin'yō explosive motorboat squadrons along the western coasts of Kyūshū and Shikoku in order to defend against an anticipated Allied invasion.

This monument erected in 1987 remembers the shin'yō squadron deployed to Ōdōtsu along the coast of Miyazaki Prefecture. The top half of the monument has the inscription of "Prayer of Peace," and the bottom half has the following inscription:

Site of Former Navy 117th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Base

In April 1945 at the end of the Pacific War, the 117th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron Base was established here at Ōdōtsu. Fifty young crewmen from ages sixteen to nineteen, members of the 19th [Otsu] Yokaren (Navy's Preparatory Flight Training Program) Class at Mie Air Base and third-year graduates, worked day and night with intensive training.

The shin'yō special attack boat was a motorboat made of veneer with a length of 5 meters and width of 1.2 meters. It was a special attack weapon that would crash into an enemy ship with 250 kilograms of explosives loaded in the front, and the crewmen themselves would also explode and die in the attack.

With the passage of 42 years since that time, Japan has achieved phenomenal economic growth and has flourished as a democratic country filled with freedom and peace.

Japan will never again start such a terrible war. This monument looks back on those times, honors the spirits of our many friends who died in battle, and offers a sincere prayer for eternal peace.

The 117th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron was formed on March 20, 1945, and had 26 two-man Model 5 shin'yō motorboats. The squadron had 188 total members, which included 7 officers, 50 shin'yō boat crewmen, 38 maintenance workers, 21 headquarters personnel, and 72 base workers.

The historical information on this web page about the 117th Shin'yō Special Attack Squadron is from pages 174-5 (written by former 117th Shin'yō Squadron Commander Kobayashi) of the following book:

Shin'yō Association (Shin'yōkai), ed. 1990. Ningen heiki: Shin'yō tokubetsu kōgekitai (Human weapon: Shin'yō Special Attack Corps). Shirō Arai, general editor. Volume 2 of 2. Tōkyō: Kokushokankōkai.

View of Ōdōtsu Bay next to monument