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Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps: Collected last
letters of youth that
would not return
(1983)

 
Last Diary Entries of Ensign Takuya Adachi

At 1535 on April 28, 1945, Ensign Takuya Adachi took off from Kushira Air Base as navigator/observer in a Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) carrying a 800-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 24. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 1st Seiki Squadron from Hyakurihara Naval Air Group. He was from Hyōgo Prefecture, attended Tōkyō Imperial University, and was a member of the 14th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).

He wrote the following final diary entries in 1945 at Hyakurihara Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture before he moved forward to a base on Kyūshū on April 13 to wait for his special attack sortie date:

March 25

The men to save the country are exclusively great persons at the grand center. The Special Attack Corps that has appeared in our divine land is undoubtedly a miracle to save the country. That is no more than a fortress against material strength. It is only when there is a strong government that the country can be full of vigor.

Saying "I will follow after you" is not merely believing in following men who will fight with determination to die. The sacrifices of the Special Attack Corps are nothing but men who greatly desire that the country advance more. Truly the men who will save the country are those great persons to emerge who, even though they may not possess a wise appearance, remain calm and do not quiver at any kind of adversity, compare their positions to the lightness of a large bird's feathers, and live only based on honest morality. However many special attack units appear one after another, the government operating the core will have an empty presence, and sooner or later a ruined country's fate will arrive.

April 2

In my school life after my intellect awoke I continued my anguish and thinking about history and death. That was left unresolved.

However, now that has been resolved with a different meaning. There is no longer a place for anguish and suffering. That has no meaning and has meaning. It is the resolution of the unresolved matter.

April 6

Ah, the special attack units made sorties. My comrades went as we waved our hands at the planes.

The crewmen and maintenance workers with tense faces gazed after them waving their hats. For those sending off and those being sent off, it was a parting where they will not meet again. The aircraft gathered together in the skies above and departed as they banked to the dawn skies. Headed for the place of decisive battle in the Ryūkyū Islands.

Today the cumulus clouds slowly were going away. The blue sky in a direct ray adorned the place in bright color, and the sunlight colored with splendor the dimness of the airfield. This was a sacred moment when history was made.

With all my heart I pray for their daring mission with the opportunity to not return. I do not have ten days, and I will join in this heroic undertaking.

April 7

The special attack squadrons will dive into enemy ships. Before the command stand, the flag at half-mast is waving softly in the spring wind.

April 11

Special attack squadrons were formed. They received the honor of a sortie.

April 12

Father, Mother, tomorrow on April 13 I will receive the honor of being a member of the Special Attack Corps and will make a sortie.

I am full of vigor and burning with fighting spirit.

I appreciate your kindness, and I pray for your happiness.

Take care of yourselves, and I will be by your side as always.

On the day that the cherry blossoms bloom . . .

To Younger Sister, please become a splendid mother. I ask that you show filial piety in place of me.

April 13

On April 13, my squadron's plane that I was manning passed through the skies of our hometown Kami [1]. Being able to give my farewell from the skies gave me more joy than anything.


Diary entries translated by Bill Gordon
July 2018

The diary entries come from Kitagawa (1983, 178-80). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kitagawa (1983, 178) and Osuo (2005, 224).

Note

1. Kami is a small town in northern Hyōgo Prefecture along the Sea of Japan.

Sources Cited

Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1983. Sōretsu kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho shū (Heroic Kamikaze Special Attack Corps: Collected last letters of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Nihon Bungeisha.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.