Kadena Air Base Historical Site


Kadena Air Base houses many historical sites. These sites range from World War II aircraft shelters to the land area where the Japanese government surrendered the Ryukyu Islands to the allied forces. The following is a brief description of these sites actually located on Kadena Air Base.

World War II Revetments
This marker is located on Douglas Blvd. near Gate 3. These structures were built for the Japanese military during World War II between June 1944 and March 1945. These facilities were intended for the storage of supplies and dismantled aircraft. The shelters provided protection from anything, short of a direct hit; however the bomb worthiness of these buildings was never tested because of the natural terrain features rendered them invisible from U.S. aerial photography.

U.S. Army Cemetery Site
This marker, on the north side of the base, is located near the 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron building (3504). This temporary cemetery, holding World War II dead, was removed in the late 1940's along with all the other military cemeteries on Okinawa and throughout the Pacific theater.

Hospital Cave
This marker is located near the Tee House building at the base of the tall peak behind the 18th Wing headquarters building. The cave itself was modified as an air raid shelter in the 1950's. When the base was captured during World War II, the cave contained medical supplies and equipment. The cave was apparently intended for use as a small clinic or field hospital, but the entrance contained a concrete gun position.

Korean War Women's Marker
A marker is located at the top of a hill adjacent to Marek Park. It was built and dedicated through the efforts of the 18th Wing History office, Kadena Officers Wives Club, and the Federally Employed Women of Okinawa. During the Korean War, members of the Women's Air Force lived in Quonset Huts on this site.

Building 78
Building 78 is one of the oldest permanent structures, and the only one made of brick, on Kadena Air Base. The old "Skoshi Tiger Inn" was built as part of an experiment to develop local industry, and brick making was attempted. Located on Chatan-Cho on the site of the former village of Kamisedo, a community of some 100 households, it was completed in 1950. It is presently used as distinguished visitors quarters.

Ryukyu Islands Surrender Site (Peace Garden Memorial)
A marker located near the Youth Center, in the Stearley Heights section of Military Family Housing on Kadena Air Base, identifies the site where the Japanese surrender of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands occurred on 7 September 1945. The forces of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were present at the ceremony. Lt. Gen. Toshiro Nomi signed the document on behalf of the Imperial Japanese General Headquarters and the Japanese Government. The ceremony was held at the 10th Army Headquarters of Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, USA, at Camp Kuwae, near Kadena airfield. General Stilwell accepted and signed the surrender document in the name of the United States. An allied complete victory on Okinawa had been announced on 22 June 1945. The Battle of Okinawa was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater and lasted about 10 weeks.