Mitsuo Fuchida was the lead pilot of the first Japanese air wave attack on Pearl Harbor.
He was born Dec. 3, 1902 at Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture, Japan to Yazo and Shika Fuchida. He had a military education and learned to love flying. He gained the position of commander.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941 he led the successful attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet. This was followed by other successful attacks in the Pacific. June 4, 1942 he was aboard the 'Akagi' in the surgery recovering from an appendectomy. Barely able to walk, he nonetheless made it through several bolted hatches up to the deck and then up the bridge to observe the 'Battle of Midway'. When the ship was hit, he slid down a rope through flames evacuating the bridge. An explosion knocked him to the deck, breaking both ankles. He spent several months recuperating from this, then was promoted to staff officer.
He was in Hiroshima the day before the atom bomb was dropped, but was called back to Tokyo. The day after the bombing he was sent back to Hiroshima with several other men to investigate. All of the rest eventually died of radiation, but he never experienced symptoms.
After the war he was called to testify in the trials against the Japanese for war crimes. He believed all prisoners were treated the way the Japanese had treated the Americans. Then he met some returning Japanese prisoners who told him they had not been tortured or abused. They told of a woman, Peggy Covell, who had served them while they were imprisoned but whose missionary parents had been killed by the Japanese on the island of Panay in the Philippines.
Serving the enemy was incomprehensible to Mitsuo Fuchida who had been raised by the 'Bushido' code in which revenge was a responsibility.
In 1948, Mitsuo was near the statue of Hachikō when he was handed a pamphlet about Jacob De Shazer , 'I Was a Prisoner of Japan.' Captured by the Japanese after his bomer ran out of fuel and went down in China, his subsequent imprisonment and torture led to his awakening interest in God. This pamphlet led Mitsuo to read the Bible for himself. When he became a Christian he started the 'Captain Fuchida Evangelistical Association' and spent several years touring the United States giving talks entitled 'From Pearl Harbour to Cavalry.' During this time he also authored the books:
He passed away May 30, 1976 in Kashiwarashi, Ōsaka-fu, Japan
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