Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps: Collected last
letters of youth that
would not return (1983)
Last Writing of Second Lieutenant Kōshirō Ishizuka
On May 11, 1945, Second Lieutenant Kōshirō Ishizuka took off from Chiran Air
Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 24. He
was a member of the 65th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an Army Type
97 Fighter (Allied code name of Nate). After his death in a special attack, he
received a two-rank promotion to Captain. He was from Tōkyō Prefecture, attended
Aoyama Gakuin University in Tōkyō, and was a member of the 2nd Class of the Army
Special Cadet Officer Pilot Training (Tokubetsu Sōjū Minarai Shikan) Program.
He wrote the following sometime after formation of the 65th Shinbu Special
Attack Squadron at Akeno Air Base on March 29, 1945:
If I die, Japan certainly will win. Since I believe that I must die so
Japan may win, now in this crisis I am truly fortunate to be able to go
while aware of the honor.
Since the special attack unit was formed, my living with kindred spirits
who have pledged to share the same fate has been the most enjoyable time of
my life. It was a fulfilling period of time. As for the fulfillment of
only this, I do not know if I would have been able to obtain it if I had a
normal life even if I had a long life of 50 years more. Now I will end my
life at 25, but the essence is the same as a person who lived until 75.
Writing translated by Bill Gordon
The writing comes from Kitagawa (1983, 199). The biographical information in
the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 172),
Kitagawa (1983, 199), and Osuo (2005, 200).
Sōretsu kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho
shū (Heroic Kamikaze Special Attack Corps: Collected last letters
of youth that would not return) (Kitagawa 1983) is a book of last letters
written by the Navy's Kamikaze Special Attack Corps members. However, Kitagawa
does include also a few writings by Army Special Attack Corps members such as this one by Ishizuka.
Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (Chiran Special Attack
Memorial Society), ed. 2005. Konpaku no kiroku: Kyū rikugun tokubetsu
kōgekitai chiran kichi (Record of departed spirits: Former Army Special
Attack Corps Chiran Base). Revised edition, originally published in 2004. Chiran Town, Kagoshima
Prefecture: Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai.
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 (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.