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Interrogation Nav 6, Captain Mitsuo Fuchida

18 Oct 1945

FUCHIDA, Mitsuo, Captain, I.J.N.

FUCHIDA served 25 years in the regular Navy. An aviator with 3000 hours in the air, FUCHIDA aboard Akagi, was in command of the air groups of CarDiv 1 from August 1941 until July 1942. Wounded during the Battle of MIDWAY, he was hospitalized for approximately one year, then in June 1943 senior staff officer, 1st Air Fleet at KANOYA, and, subsequently, when 1st Air Fleet moved to the MARIANAS, at TINIAN. In April 1944, FUCHIDA transferred to OYODO as Staff Officer (Air Operations) of Combined Fleet. When Fleet Headquarters moved ashore to HIYOSHI in September 1944 he continued as Staff Officer (Air Operations) until the end of the war. FUCHIDA answered questions frankly and carefully. He was considered one of the most lucrative sources of information and a reliable witness.

Commanding Officer, Air Group CarDiv IAugust 1941-July 1942
HospitalizedAugust 1942-May 1943
Senior Staff Officer, 1st Air FleetJune 1943-March 1944
Staff Officer (Air Operations), Combined FleetApril 1944-August 1945


18 October 1945

Interrogation of: Captain FUCHIDA, Mitsuo, IJN, a naval aviator since 1928. As air group commander of the AKAGI he led the attacks on PEARL HARBOR, DARWIN and CEYLON. In April 1944 he became Air Staff Officer to CinC Combined Fleet and held that post for the duration of the war.

Interrogated by: Lt. Comdr. R. P. Aiken, USNR.

Allied Officers Present: Col. Philip Cole, AUS; Captain W. Pardae, AUS; Lt. Robert Garred, USNR.


Captain FUCHIDA discussed the attack on PEARL HARBOR, and the organization of the Kamikaze Corps during the PHILIPPINE Campaign. He also furnished information relating to suicide attacks during the OKINAWA Campaign, and Japanese Naval and Army Air Forces plans to resist an invasion of JAPAN proper.


Q. What was your status during the PEARL HARBOR attack?
A. I was an air observer.

Q. How many and what types of aircraft were used in the attack?
A. A total of 350. In the first wave:

50 High levelKATES
50 Dive-BombersVALS

In the second wave:

50 High levelKATES
80 Dive-BombersVALS

Q. How many aircraft were lost; failed to return to their carriers?
A. 29 in all. 9 VF in the first wave and 15 dive-bombers and 5 VTB in the second wave.

Q. Which units of the fleet participated in the PEARL HARBOR attack?

DDs20 (large type).

Q. How many aircraft were employed as Combat Air Patrol over the PEARL HARBOR attack force?
A. 50 VF from CVs plus 12 float planes from the BBs, CAs and CL. These were in addition to the 350 planes used in the actual attack at PEARL HARBOR.

Q. How many CAP were on station at a time?
A. about 1/3 of the 50 aircraft were airborne at a time.

Q. Any losses from CAP, either VF or float planes?
A. None.

Q. Any additional planes employed as ASP?
A. None, VF served as ASP as well as CAP.

Q. How many pilots were lost in the attack?
A. A total of 29-none were recovered from the 29 aircraft that failed to return.

Philippine Kamikaze Operations

Q. Were the CV Air Groups, that left the EMPIRE in October, 1944 being sent to the PHILIPPINES for Kamikaze action?
A. No. Part of the 601 Air Group was embarked in October 1944. From the remainder of the Air Group pilot personnel, 30 VF pilots were selected in November 1944 for Kamikaze operations and were sent to LUZON, to join the 201 Air Group.

Q. Were any of the 601 Air Group, embarked on carriers in October 1944, being sent to the PHILIPPINES defense as Kamikaze pilots?
A. No.

Q. How were the 30 fighter pilots selected for Kamikaze operations?
A. They were all volunteers.

Q. How did they rank in flying experience with the other pilots in the Air Group?
A. They were the best.

Q. Regarding Japanese plans for the defense of the homeland against Allied landings, how were Kamikaze aircraft to be employed?
A. According to plans, all Kamikaze planes were to be expended when Allied forced attempted landings on KYUSHU.

Q. Were any kamikaze planes to be held back for the defense of the KANTO PLAIN area?
A. On paper, all aircraft (both Army and navy combat and trainer types) were to be used to resist Allied operations against KYUSHU. Actually, I believe that some Army Air Units would have been held back to repel an invasion of the KANTO PLAIN.

Q. At OKINAWA, what was the ratio of ships hit to aircraft expended in kamikaze attacks?
A. I think about 1/6 of the total aircraft used hit their target.

Q. How many Kamikaze aircraft were expended during the OKINAWA operations?
A. About 900 in all.

500Navy Aircraft from JAPAN
300Army Aircraft from JAPAN
50Navy Aircraft from FORMOSA
50Army Aircraft from FORMOSA

These figures are approximations.

Q. Of the 900 that were expended in the OKINAWA Area, how many hit their target?
A. Although it was widely publicized that 400 had been successful, I think that 200 would be more accurate figure.

Q. What percentage of hits did the JNAF expect in the KETSU Operation?
A. We expected about the same percentage as during the OKINAWA operation.

Q. How many Kamikaze aircraft were to be used during KETSU Operations by JNAF?
A. 2500, of which 500 were combat aircraft and 2000 were trainers. We had about 2500 remaining combat aircraft which would be used during KETSU Operations for search, night torpedo, and air cover.

Q. What were the plans for the use of Kamikaze aircraft during KETSU Operations?
A. 500 suicide planes were to be expended during the initial Allied landing attempt. This force would be supplemented by other kamikaze units brought in from SHIKOKU, SW HONSHU, Central HONSHU, TOKYO Area, and HOKKAIDO.

Q. How were JNAF Kamikaze aircraft deployed throughout the Empire?

500 in KYUSHU
500 in SW HONSHU
500 in TOKYO Area
200 in SHIKOKU.

Q. What was the size and deployment of the JAAF Kamikaze Force?
A. Approximately the same as the JNAF. 2500 aircraft deployed similarly. ww2dbase

Source: United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific) Interrogation of Japanese Officials [OPNAV-P-03-100], courtesy of ibilio Hyperwar Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Bea says:
5 Oct 2011 11:40:43 AM

Fascinating testimony considering the life of Mitsuo Fuchida, who became a Christian evangelist, as did American Jacob DeShazer - part of Doolittle's Raiders. When these two men met, it came full circle. Their story is told in books. I enjoyed reading the Interrogation of Capt. Fuchida, knowing that he led the raid on Pearl Harbor. Yet, went on to find new life in Christ. Thank you.

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