After World War II ended with Japan's defeat he became a Christian and considered himself an evangelist until the end of his life. He also became a U.S. citizen in 1966.
Mitsuo Fuchida in Days of InfamyEdit
Mitsuo Fuchida (1902-1943) was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and a pilot before and during World War II. He headed the formation that led the first wave of attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that initiated the invasion of Hawaii.
Fuchida was on board the Akagi with Admiral Chuichi Nagumo and commander Minoru Genda. Fuchida was one of the voices pressing for the invasion to go forward. All were relieved when the invasion continued, and Hawaii was subdued.
As air commander, Fuchida was present for many of the important political events that took place during the Japanese occupation. He was present during the formal surrender of U.S. forces by Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short. He also helped with the selection of a puppet ruler for Hawaii. When Jimmy Doolittle led a raid against Hawaii in March, 1942, Fuchida participated in the retalitory bombing of San Francisco. Fuchida and his friend Minoru Genda participated in the selection process of the puppet monarch for the reconstituted Kingdom of Hawaii, eventually settling on Stanley Owana Laanui. (Prior to choosing Laanui, Fuchida was present in interviewing Abigail Kawananakoa and was impressed with her defiance towards the occupiers and obviously suggested that it was best to rule Hawaii without her.)
In June, 1942, Fuchida demonstrated his devotion to duty when he led the air battle against an American invasion fleet. The fleet was destroyed handily, thanks in no small part to Fuchida. During the battle, Fuchida noticed pains in his belly. Upon the battle's conclusion, Fuchida landed his bomber on the flagship Akagi, got out, and went directly to sickbay. He was diagnosed with appendicitis. The doctor's operated on him quickly, and Fuchida recovered, with a great deal of admiration for having fought despite the intense pain.
Throughout 1943, Fuchida was concerned by the increasing brazenness of American attacks on Hawaii by plane and by submarine. He was particularly unnerved when the U.S. slammed several torpedoes into Japan's newest aircraft carrier.
In the summer of 1943, the United States launched a massive invasion of Hawaii, comprised of some 7 aircraft carriers (Bunker Hill, Essex, Hornet, Ranger, and 3 other Essex class), 5 light carriers, close to a dozen escort carriers, several destroyers, and troop carriers. This invasion proved to be the end of Japanese rule in Hawaii, as Akagi was sunk, and the Japanese supplyline, already taxed, was broken completely. While Fuchida was able to inflict some harm upon the American fleet, his bomber was shot down over the Pacific by Joe Crosetti. Fuchida was mourned by his friend, Minoru Genda.
Before his death, Fuchida had considered becoming a Christian.