Who so blind as he that will not see! So true and I know the area well. I made a detour recently on my way back from the newly built library next to the remains of Nagasaki Kaido row of pine trees (see *Note below). The venue was closer than I thought. Alas, a bit off where the walkway crosses (熊西緑道ーKumanishi Greenway), within a stone's throw away and the monument was hidden a bit so as to be hardly noticed. A huge palm tree sits aplomb at the above crossroads, the corner across from Kumanishi Elementary School Compound. Passers-by would be more attracted to the palms than a cluster of rusted irons, unless otherwise advised.
The English text on a metal plate reads:
"Not so long after WWII, on Nov. 12, 1947, the airplane piloted by Lt. Rodney Nicholson of the U.S. Air Force ran into trouble when it was flying over this area. Even though he had the opportunity to bail out, he chose to remain at the controls, so as to avoid crashing into the residential area. He crashed into a nearby field owned by Mitsubishi Kasei Corp and was killed. The people in the area admired his humane act and built a monument in his memory, whereby they could pray, in May 1948.
It is a well written plate and I'm deeply impressed. While working in the naval town of San Diego, California, there was a similar plane crash incident. The naval jet had trouble as soon as it took off at the Miramar Airbase. The pilot tried to control his jet to fly out to the ocean in vain. He ejected himself right before the jet crashed into the parking lot of our Sorrento Valley plant. A dozen cars and the plant roof eaves were damaged but there was no loss of human life.
I read also Nicholson's plane knocked off the Elementary School building eaves, while classes were in session. Nicholson's death must have saved many school children.
Years ago, I belonged to the Kurosaki "Prince Hotel" tennis and swimming club center. However, the change of hotel ownership kept me away for awhile from the area. The swimming pool and skate rink were demolished first. Then home appliance and food shopping centers emerged, replacing the indulgent sporting villa. Outdoor tennis courts turned into restaurant rows. Kept vacant after bulldozed and compacted was where the indoor tennis courts and club house were across from busy State Route 200. Nicholson's monument may be exposed soon when the new development move surges. I hope it will stay eternally as written on the plate.