Bamban Town, Philippines
The Bamban Historical Society, led by Rhonie Dela Cruz, erected the Ohnishi
Shrine in 2001 to remember Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, who formed the first kamikaze
unit in the Philippines on October 19, 1944. By October 2009, the shrine area
has become somewhat overgrown with vegetation.
The monument stands near the tunnel headquarters of the 1st Air Fleet led by
Vice Admiral Ohnishi and the 2nd Air Fleet led by Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome.
This tunnel can still be visited today.
The monument's complete inscription states:
Navy Vice Admiral
The monument area has several information plaques, both in English and Japanese. The memorial
remembers not only Vice Admiral Ohnishi but also the men who served in the
Japanese Navy's 1st and 2nd Air Fleets and the American sailors who died as a
result of kamikaze attacks on their ships.
The English plaque with the history of Vice Admiral Ohnishi states:
ADMIRAL OHNISHI PEACE MEMORIAL
Vice-Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi (Imperial Japanese Navy)
The Father of Divine Wind (Kamikaze) Special Attack Force
Admiral Ohnishi was born and grew up in Ashiya, Hyogo prefecture. By 1943, he
was Japan's leading officer in naval aviation. His major naval career
Commander, 2nd Combined Air Group
China Campaign (1937)
Chief of Staff,
Naval Land Based Air Forces (11th Air Fleet) – Taiwan (December 1941)
Chief, Naval General Headquarters (Supply) – Japan (1943 to September 1944)
Commander, 1st Air Fleet – Philippines (October 17, 1944)
Chief of Staff, Combined Land Air Forces (1st and 2nd Air Fleet) –
Philippines (October 26, 1944)
Vice Chief, Naval General Staff – Japan (September 1945 )
Upon the activation of Sho-Go (Victory) operation in the Philippines, he
founded the first Kamikaze Special Attack Corps on 19-October-1944. As the
Commander of the First Air Fleet, his headquarters was established on this hill
named Asahiyama from 20-November-1944 to 9-January-1945
. Throughout the Kamikaze
operations conducted by the Japanese Navy, a total of 84 various sea crafts were
sunk and 283 damaged by special attack aircraft, submarines, and motor boats.
Around 0230 hours on 16-August-1945 (a day after Japan's surrender), Admiral
Ohnishi committed suicide in the tradition of a true samurai. From the proponent
of special attack force, his goal was for the world peace. In his last note, he
urged the young people of Japan to strive for peace throughout the world .
This peace memorial was built in remembrance and for repose of the soul of
Admiral Ohnishi, the Kamikaze pilots, the American sailors and crews who died in
the Kamikaze special attack operations and all the military personnel of the 1st
and 2nd Air Fleet units who fought bravely and died in the Bamban-Stotsenburg 
Bamban Historical Society
The English plaque on the 1st and 2nd Air Fleets reads as follows:
1st and 2nd AIR FLEET (IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY) MEMORIAL
In remembrance of the Japanese who served in the Imperial Japanese Navy's
1st Air Fleet and 2nd Air Fleet and attached units who participated in the
decisive air battles, Sho-Go (Leyte Operations) and the Battle off Northeast
of the Philippines during the Pacific War.
1st AIR FLEET
22nd Air Flotilla (Koku-sentai)
23rd Air Flotilla
61st Air Flotilla
26th Air Flotilla (Philippine Area)
Air Group 153 (Kokutai) Night Fighter/Reconnaissance - 102 & 901 Squadron
Air Group 201 (Fighter) - 301, 305, 306, 311 Squadron
Air Group 761 (Bomber) - 105, 251, 401, 704 Squadron
1021 Air Transport Unit
332 Air Group (Kure Naval Station)
2nd AIR FLEET
21st Air Flotilla
25th Air Flotilla (Okinawa/Philippines)
Air Group 221 Arashi (Storm) - 308, 312, 313, 407 Squadron (Hikotai)
Air Group 341 Shishi (Lion) Fighter/Interceptor - 401, 402 Squadron
Air Group 141 - 804 Squadron
Air Group 762 - 405, 406, 708 Squadron
Air Group 203 (12th Air Fleet) - 303, 304 Squadron
Air Group 753 (Ginga Bomber Units) - K403, K405, K401, K406, K501
Air Group 701
Air Group 634
Air Group 254
Air Group 256
3rd Air Fleet Units:
Air Group 252
Air Group 653 - 165, 166, 263 Squadron
Air Group 601
BAMBAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The English plaque to remember American sailors killed in kamikaze attacks
reads as follows:
AMERICAN SAILORS MEMORIAM
In honor and memory of the United States Navy sailors and crews who lost
their lives and whose ships were sunk and damaged (87 various sea vessels
including 22 aircraft carriers, 5 battleships, 3 heavy cruisers, 7 light
cruisers and 23 destroyers) by the Imperial Japanese Navy special attack
(Kamikaze) operations in the Philippines from 25-October-1944 to
United States Ships 
CVE St. Lo (Aircraft Carrier)
CVE Ommaney  (Aircraft Carrier)
DD Abner Reed  (Destroyer)
DD Mahon  (Destroyer)
DD Reid (Destroyer)
PT323 (Motor Torpedo Boat)
DMS Long (High Speed Mine Layer)
LST 472 (Landing Ship Transport)
PC 129  (Patrol Craft)
AUX Porcupine (Auxiliary Ship)
SC 744 (Submarine Chaser)
BAMBAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Bamban Historical Society also sponsors a small museum with displays of
1. The month of September 1945 is
incorrect since Ohnishi died on August 16, 1945. The Japanese version of the
plaque just states 1945 without giving a month.
2. Rhonie Dela Cruz states that
Chikanori Moji, an aide to Vice Admiral Ohnishi, confirmed the information
regarding use of the tunnel in Bamban.
3. The actual words in Ohnishi's last
letter were the following. The words are addressed to the "young people of
Japan" (Inoguchi 1958, 175):
You are the treasure of the nation. With all the fervor of
spirit of the special attackers, strive for the welfare of Japan and for
peace throughout the world.
4. Stotsenburg was a fort located in
5. Inoguchi (1958, 211-21) is the
source of this list.
6. This should be Ommaney Bay rather than
7. This should be Abner Read
rather than Abner Reed. Inoguchi (1958, 212) also gives the incorrect
spelling of the name.
8. This should be Mahon rather
9. This should be PC 1129
rather than PC 129.
Inoguchi, Rikihei, and Tadashi Nakajima, with Roger Pineau.
1958. The Divine Wind: Japan's Kamikaze Force in World War II.
Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.