"Jesus is the only answer for young people today" -Mitsuo Fuchida
|This is the incredible story of the lead pilot of the December 7, 1941, raid on Pearl Harbor. Fuchida was the one who shouted the war cry, "Tora, Tora, Tora!" Mitsuo Fuchida fought the United States throughout WWII and was intimately involved in the planning and leadership of the Japanese war effort as flight commander and later as a senior operations officer. After the war, Fuchida was a defeated warrior in occupied Japan, farming to meet the needs of his family. In 1950, Fuchida miraculously came to know Jesus Christ as Saviour through a tract handed to him while exiting a train in Tokyo. The tract was entitled, "I Was a Prisoner of Japan," written by Jacob DeShazer who was one of the famous Doolittle Raiders. DeShazer trusted Christ as his Saviour while held captive by Japan for 40 months. DeShazer went to Japan in 1948 as a missionary and preached to the nation who held him captive. Fuchida faithfully served Jesus Christ as an evangelist until his death in 1976. "From Pearl Harbor to Calvary" is Fuchida's testimony of salvation.|
I must admit I was more excited than usual as I awoke that morning at 3:00 a.m., Hawaii time, four days past my thirty-ninth birthday. Our six aircraft carriers were positioned 230 miles north of Oahu Island. As general commander of the air squadron, I made last-minute checks on the intelligence information reports in the operations room before going to warm up my single-engine, three-seater "97-type" plane used for level bombing and torpedo flying.
The sunrise in the east was magnificent above the white clouds as I led 360 planes towards Hawaii at an altitude of 3,000 meters. I knew my objective: to surprise and cripple the American naval force in the Pacific. But I fretted about being thwarted should some of the U.S. battleships not be there. I gave no thought of the possibility of this attack breaking open a mortal confrontation with the United States. I was only concerned about making a military success.
As we neared the Hawaiian Islands that bright Sunday morning, I made a preliminary check of the harbor, nearby Hickam Field and the other installations surrounding Honolulu. Viewing the entire American Pacific Fleet peacefully at anchor in the inlet below, I smiled as I reached for the mike and ordered, "All squadrons, plunge in to attack!" The time was 7:49 a.m.
Like a hurricane out of nowhere, my torpedo planes, dive bombers and fighters struck suddenly with indescribable fury. As smoke began to billow and the proud battleships, one by one, started tilting, my heart was almost ablaze with joy. During the next three hours, I directly commanded the fifty level bombers as they pelted not only Pearl Harbor, but the airfields, barracks and dry docks nearby. Then I circled at a higher altitude to accurately assess the damage and report it to my superiors.
Of the eight battleships in the harbor, five were mauled into total inactivity for the time being. The Arizona was scrapped for good; the Oklahoma, California and West Virginia were sunk. The Nevada was beached in a sinking condition; only the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee were able to be repaired. Of the eight, the California, West Virginia and Nevada were salvaged much later, but the Oklahoma, after being raised, was resunk as worthless. Other smaller ships were damaged, but the sting of 3,077 U.S. Navy personnel killed or missing and 876 wounded, plus 226 Army killed and 396 wounded, was something which could never be repaired.
It was the most thrilling exploit of my career. Ever since I had heard of my country's winning the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, I had dreamed of becoming an admiral like Admiral Togo, our commander-in-chief in the decisive Battle of the Japan Sea.
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