Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps: Collected last
letters of youth that
would not return (1983)
Last Letter of Ensign Takeshi Iinuma to His Parents
At 0400 on May 11, 1945, Ensign Takeshi  Iinuma took off
from Ibusuki Air Base in a Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name of
Jake) carrying an 800-kg bomb. He was a member of
the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Sakigake Squadron
 from Kashima Naval Air Group in Ibaraki
Prefecture. He died in
a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was from Kanagawa
Prefecture, attended Yokohama College of Commerce, and was a member of the 13th
Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students.
He wrote the following final letter:
The season of new green leaves has arrived. I trust that you are in good
At last I also have received an order. Today it has been decided that I
will go to make an attack.
I thankfully appreciate that owing only to you I was able to live
peacefully without one inconvenience for a long time.
Now I have no regrets.
From faraway Okinawan skies, I am praying that you will live in good
health for many years.
April 29, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Kitagawa
(1983, 194-5). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1983, 194) and Osuo (2005, 238).
1. Takeshi and Hajime are both common
pronunciations of the Japanese male name of 孟. Takeshi has been used for this
web page, but it could not be confirmed what is the correct pronunciation.
2. Kitagawa (1983, 194) indicates that Iinuma was
a member of the 1st Sakigake Squadron, but Osuo (2005, 238) and Tokkōtai
Senbotsusha (1990, 203) state that he was a member of the 2nd Sakigake Squadron.
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.
Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei
Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990.
Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha
Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.