A Visit To A Kaiten

I am sure all of the "Black Gang" remember Henry Arthur Lord MM1/c. I stood many a watch with him and I am sure some of you did also. The following message is from his son and he has graciously allowed us to use it on our web page. Rodger

Some Kaiten LINKS to other web sites:
Japanese "Kaiten" Human Torpedoes
"Kaiten" type Human Torpedoe
s

Dear Mr. Crum,

Greetings from Boston-from the son of Henry Lord. I trust you are well. I would like to share with you an experience I recently had in Japan. I am generally there three or four times a year.

In May I returned from yet another business trip to Japan. While on the trip I had the occasion to visit Hiroshima and tour the surrounding area. As you probably know near Hiroshima is the island of Etajima which housed the Naval Academy of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the war. It was on this island that the "Kaiten" was created. I was given a private tour of the island and the school which is now called "First School of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The school is pretty limited in scope housing only 150 students and acts similar to our own Coast Guard in terms of functionality. On the site of the school is a Museum dedicated to Japanese Maritime history going back 1,000 or so years. Outside of the Museum there are two versions of the "Kaiten" on display. I have enclosed a copy of a picture I took of the "Kaiten" similar to the one that sunk the Underhill. I must confess that the sheer size of the device and the horror it evoked in me can only be appreciated when seeing it in person. The shock I felt upon seeing the simplicity of the detonation system on the front of the "Kaiten" is unrivaled in my life. I stood in stunned silence for an undetermined amount of time and I guess, wondered the "might have beens" in all our lives.

This is neither the time nor the place for me to describe my personal thoughts and feelings so I’ll not linger in that regard. However, after some reflection I thought I would send you a copy of the picture of the "kaiten" to do with as you see fit.

If you would like any additional information about my tour of the museum, please feel comfortable to contact with me.

Best Regards,
Henry A. Lord
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