Japanese pilot unable to bomb temple
During World War II, a Japanese pilot is participating in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He has instructions on where to drop his bombs, which happens to be over the Hawaii temple (not located very near Pearl Harbor). As he flies over and sees the temple he just can’t drop his bombs. He later sees a picture of the temple and figures out it belongs to the Church. He is later baptized.
Many people really claim this story is true, but there is no verification for it.
For further study into this legend, please read “The Purported December 7, 1941, Attack on the Hawaii Temple,” Kenneth W. Baldridge and Lance D. Chase.
This paper combines presentations made by MPHS co-founders Baldridge and Chase during three different conferences on whether a Japanese pilot attempted three times – and failed – to bomb the Hawaii Temple during the overall attack on Pearl Harbor and other Oahu military installations on December 7, 1941. They describe how a single Hawaii eyewitness didn’t start telling his story until the 1960s, and that several variations of the widespread story now exist. They also bring in the account of missionaries tracting out the veteran pilot years later in Japan, who reportedly joined the Church and corroborated the account, and how that aspect of the story has also evolved over the years. None of these claims could be verified with documentation. Baldridge concludes the story is a Mormon legend he was unable to verify. Chase “remains uncertain.”