Victims Remembered 63 Yrs after U.S. Fighter Crash in Okinawa


Uruma, Okinawa Pref., June 30 (Jiji Press)--A memorial service was held Thursday for a total of 18 students and other local residents killed in the crash of a U.S. fighter jet in the city of Uruma in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa 63 years ago.

The ceremony was held at Miyamori Elementary School, which was hit by the incident involving the fighter belonging to the U.S. military's Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

Around 10:40 a.m. on June 30, 1959, the fighter crashed into a residential neighborhood in the city, which was called the city of Ishikawa at the time, bounced and plunged into the building of the school roughly 150 meters away. Fires caused by jet fuel from the fighter burned houses and the school building.

Twelve of the 18 victims were students, while 210 people, including 156 students, were injured in the incident. The incident occurred before the 1972 return of Okinawa to Japan from post-World War II U.S. occupation.

In Thursday's ceremony, bereaved families and others observed a moment of silence for the lives lost in the crash.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press