“I am Mitsuo Fuchida. As Chief Commander of the air squadron, I participated in the air raid on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 (Japan time), which opened the Pacific war.
That morning, seating myself in the first plane, I led the whole squadron of 360 planes into Pearl Harbor, and having ascertained that the main force of the American Pacific fleet, comprised of eight warships, was at anchor in Pearl Harbor, I lifted the curtain of warfare by dispatching that cursed order number one, ‘Whole squadron, plunge into attack!’”
Those are the words we find from Captain Mitsuo Fuchida in “I Led the Air Raid on Pearl Harbor.”
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, stunned the entire nation and from that point forward dramatically changed the course of the history of the United States. The losses were unbelievable.
It was on that day that Mitsuo Fuchida became a household name in the United States. A formidable bomber pilot and Japanese captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service, he led the first air wave attacks on that fateful day. Although subordinate to Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo, Fuchida coordinated the entire aerial attack.
Fuchida grew up with a hatred for the United States. He enlisted in Japan’s Naval Air Force and worked toward becoming Japan’s top ace. When the Japanese military leaders were looking for someone to lead the attack on Pearl Harbor, their natural choice was Fuchida.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Difficult, painful history.