Kamikaze EAST AIRFIELD PEACE MEMORIAL
This spot is the central frontage of the very first JAPANESE KAMIKAZE AIR FIELD of WW II - the Mabalacat East Airfield. On 20 October 1944, VICE ADMIRAL TAKIJIRO OHNISHI founded the KAMIKAZE at Mabalacat, Pampanga, Luzon Island. The first to volunteer were the 23 fliers of the 201st Air Group, 1st Air Fleet, Imperial Nippon Naval Air Force under CMDR. ASAICHI TAMAI, then stationed at Mabalacat. The first KAMIKAZE group was called the Shimpu Special Attack Corps under LT. YUKIO SEKI. The corps was divided into four units: the SHIKISHIMA UNIT; the YAMATO UNIT; the ASAHI UNIT; and the YAMA-ZAKURA UNIT. At 0725 hrs on October 25, 1944, the Shikishima Unit took off from this airfield led by LT. YUKIO SEKI. His men were SGT. IWAO NAKANO, SGT. NOBOUTANI, EM 1/C HAGIME NAGAMINE and EM 2/C SHIGEO OGURO. At 1045 hrs, on the said date, the unit hit enemy targets near Leyte. LT. SEKI's plane hit first blowing up the U.S. Carrier St. Lo which sank 20 minutes later. LT. SEKI's men also hit and heavily damaged the U.S. Carriers: Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, Sangamon, Santee, Suwannee and White Plains. This first successful KAMIKAZE MISSION was witnessed then reported here by C/WO HIROYOSHI NISHIZAWA, Japan's greatest ace pilot with 103 kills confirmed. War historians considered LT. YUKIO SEKI as "THE WORLD'S FIRST OFFICIAL HUMAN BOMB!"
The Mabalacat Tourism Office (MTO) supports the establishment of Kamikaze Peace Memorial Shrine not for the glorification of the Kamikaze but rather for the use of war history as a tool for the promotion of peace and friendship among nations. The shrine serves as a reminder that the Kamikaze phenomenon shall never happen again.
SGD: GUY "INDRA" HILBERO
HEAD, MABALACAT TOURISM OFFICE