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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > Yamato City residents commemorate victims of 1964 US military jet crash into metal factory
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2016 September 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

Yamato City residents commemorate victims of 1964 US military jet crash into metal factory

September 10, 2016
An event took place on September 9 at Kanagawa’s Yamato City to commemorate the victims of a U.S. military jet crash into a metal factory in the city 52 years ago. The event was hosted by the organizing committee consisting of various civic groups, including the Yamato City Peace Committee.

On September 8, 1964, during flight training exercises at the U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi stretching over Yamato and Ayase cities in Kanagawa Prefecture, an F8U Crusader carrier-borne fighter, whose mothership was the USS Bon Homme Rechard, shortly after takeoff crashed into the Tateno Metal Factory near the base. In this accident, five people, including three factory workers, were killed and three residents were injured while the fighter pilot ejected safely. In 2014, a monument to the victims was built at the crash site thanks to local peace activists’ efforts. However, in order to visit the monument, people have to get permission because the crash site is owned and fenced in by the state government.

Organizing committee member groups have been working to turn the crash site into a peace memorial park.

At the ceremony held in front of the monument, organizing committee representative Miyaou Katsuyuki delivered a speech and said, “We will continue our efforts to realize a peace memorial park to remember the victims.” Attendees in turn took one step toward the monument and bowed in prayer as a Buddhist priest read the sutras.

Tateno Yoshio who lost his three older brothers in the accident said, “Speaking frankly, it’s very painful for me to come here. However, in order to help people remember this tragedy, I hope the site will be a peace park where everyone can visit and offer flowers at the monument.”
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