Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument
Yachimata City, Chiba Prefecture
Yachimata Airfield opened in March 1941 as the Shimoshizu Army Flight School
Yachimata Branch. As the war situation become more intense, in June 1944 the
Flight School turned into a fighting unit as the Shimoshizu Kyōdō Hikō Shidan
(Training Air Division). Also, a Kyōdō Hikōtai (Flight Training Unit) and a
Hikōjō Daitai (Airfield Battalion) were assigned to Yachimata Airfield.
Cutting-edge Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft, also known as
Mitsubishi Ki-46 (Allied code name of Dinah), were deployed to Yachimata.
In May 1985, a monument was erected in remembrance of units that used the
Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft. The front of the monument has
engraved the following:
Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument
The many units of the Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft left great
achievements in the global history of air battles. At this location primarily
there was training, and they took off from here to all theaters of operations in
East Asia. Many men did not return again.
The back of the monument has the following information:
Command Reconnaissance Aircraft Units That Participated in Second
Sino-Japanese War and Pacific War
The Command Reconnaissance Aircraft was in those days the most powerful plane
in the world. By making use of its high speed and capability to fly at high
altitude, a single plane ably carried out strategic reconnaissance over a wide
area and contributed in execution of air operations.
Also, during the latter part of World War II armed aircraft were deployed to
fight against B-29s and to attack warships in air raids and special (suicide)
attack squadrons. A similar case of such an Army Air Force special plane type
with varied uses surely was not seen in the world.
Next on the monument's back side there is a listing of units that used the Type 100 Army Command
2nd Hikō Sentai (Flying Regiment), 8th Hikō Sentai, 10th Hikō Sentai, 15th Hikō
Sentai, 28th Hikō Sentai, 29th Hikō Sentai, 38th Hikō Sentai, 44th Hikō Sentai,
81st Hikō Sentai, 82nd Hikō Sentai, 106th Hikō Sentai, 16th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai (Independent Air Squadron), 17th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 18th Dokuritsu
Hikō Chūtai, 19th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 41st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 50th
Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 51st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 55th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai,
63rd Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 70th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 74th Dokuritsu Hikō
Chūtai, 76th Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 81st Dokuritsu Hikō Chūtai, 85th Dokuritsu
Hikō Chūtai, 1st Dokuritsu Hikōtai (Independent Air Unit), 2nd Dokuritsu
Hikōtai, 4th Dokuritsu Hikōtai, 12th Dokuritsu Hikōtai, 16th Dokuritsu Hikōtai,
Shimoshizu Kyōdō Hikō Shidan (Training Air Division), several related units
Back of Army Command Reconnaissance Units Monument
Although the monument and a nearby information sign indicate that Type 100
Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft participated in special (suicide) attacks,
no specifics are provided. Hara (2004, 196, 202, 225) and Osuo (2005, 207)
indicate that the following pilots of Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance
Aircraft died in special attacks:
- 2 on April 7, 1945, after sortie from Kanoya Air Base
- 2 on April 12,1945, after sortie from Kanoya Air Base
- 3 on May 14, 1945, after sortie from Fukuoka
Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 353) indicates that another two pilots of Type
100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft died in a special attack after a sortie
from Miyakonojō West Airfield on April 12, 1945, but Hara and Osuo do not
mention this. Kanoya was a Navy air base, but it was used sometimes by Army
aircraft during the Battle of Okinawa.
The following last letter was written by a Kamikaze
Special Attack Corps member who died in
a special attack as pilot of an Type 100 Army Command Reconnaissance Aircraft:
Hara, Katsuhiro. 2004. Shinsō kamikaze tokkō: Hisshi
hitchū no 300 nichi (Kamikaze special attack facts: 300 days of certain-death, sure-hit
attacks). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kojinsha.
Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei
Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkotai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990.
Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha
Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.