Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
Teaser Image

Fuchida Mitsuo (1902–1976)

Japanese navy officer and aviator. Born at Nagao in Nara Prefecture on 3 December 1902, Fuchida Mitsuo graduated from the Naval Academy in 1924 and completed flight training in 1927. While he was posted to the Yokosuka Kokutai (Air Corps), he developed the coordinated dive-bombing techniques intended to saturate target defenses that subsequently became standard Japanese tactics.

In 1939, Fuchida became the bomber group leader of 1st Carrier Division aboard the aircraft carrier Akagi. He was a major participant in planning for the Pearl Harbor attack and was selected as overall strike commander for the 330-plane force from Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's First Air Fleet that surprised the U.S. Pacific Fleet on 7 December 1941. Fuchida actively participated in the attacks on Rabaul and Port Darwin and the devastating raid by the First Air Fleet into the eastern Indian Ocean during the spring of 1942. Fuchida was incapacitated by appendicitis during the Midway operation. When the Akagi was attacked and sunk by U.S. Navy dive-bombers he was severely wounded, barely managing to survive.

Following his recovery, Fuchida was posted to the staff of Yokosuka Kokutai and undertook a series of planning assignments before transferring to operational posts in the Mariana Islands and the Philippines. He returned to Japan with the rank of captain to participate in planning for the final defense of the home islands. Fuchida narrowly escaped death at Hiroshima; he left the city the day before the atom bomb was dropped. He attended the surrender ceremony aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri on 2 September 1945.

After the war, Fuchida took up farming and converted to Christianity with such fervor that he became a globe-circling evangelist. He emigrated to the United States in 1966 and became a citizen. Fuchida died while visiting Osaka on 30 May 1976.

Paul E. Fontenoy


Further Reading
Evans, David C., and Mark R. Peattie. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997.; Fuchida Mitsuo and Okumya Masatake. Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan. The Japanese Navy's Story. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1955.; Peattie, Mark R. Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909–1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2001.; Prange, Gordon W., with Donald Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon. At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.; Stillwell, Paul, ed. Air Raid: Pearl Harbor! Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1981.
 

©2011 ABC-CLIO. All rights reserved.

  About the Author/Editor
  Introduction
  Essays
  A
  B
  C
  D
  E
  F
  G
  H
  I
  J
  K
  L
  M
  N
  O
  P
  Q
  R
  S
  T
  U
  V
  W
  X
  Y
  Z
  Documents Prior to 1938
  1939 Documents
  1940 Documents
  1941 Documents
  1942 Documents
  1943 Documents
  1944 Documents
  1945 Documents
  Images
ABC-cLIO Footer