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Last Letter of Sergeant Major Yoshinori Kaminari to His Parents

On April 22, 1945, Sergeant Major Yoshinori Kaminari took off from Chiran Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 25. He was a member of the 80th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an Army Type 99 Advanced Trainer (Ki-55, Allied code name of Ida). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Kagoshima Prefecture and was a non-commissioned officer who entered the Army in 1937.

He wrote the following final letter addressed to his parents:

Dear Father and Mother,

I deeply appreciate your kindness for more than twenty years.

I only regret my lack of filial piety.

The feelings of a father and mother are understood by a child, and the child's feelings are understood by the father and mother.

Now I will participate in my long-cherished desire of the Special Attack Corps. I will fall in the desired place of the Nansei Islands, our old home, which has turned into a battlefield.

I believe in victory, and I wish you good luck.

April 4


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
May 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 115, 217) and Osuo (2005, 202-3).

Sources Cited

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.

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