Last Letters from Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Toshimitsu Kawamura
On April 6, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Toshimitsu Kawamura took off
from Kanoya Air Base as a member of the 1st Shinken Special Attack Squadron and
died in battle near Okinawa at the age of 20. April 6 was the day of Japan's first and
largest of ten mass kamikaze attacks called Kikusui (Floating Chrysanthemum).
He grew up in Saga Prefecture and became a member of the Navy's Hikō Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program) 1st Toku Otsu Class. After completion of
training, he then was assigned
to Ōmura Naval Air Group in Nagasaki Prefecture. He piloted a bomb-carrying
Zero fighter from Kanoya Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Kawamura wrote the following separate short notes to his family and comrades
just before his sortie from Kanoya:
(Shinken Unit) Toshimitsu Kawamura
At 30 minutes before my sortie, I must be going soon from here.
April 6, 1945, 1500
I am feeling well and will splendidly sink a ship at once by blowing it up.
Dear Older Sister,
Please take good care of father and mother. Please give my greeting to my
As for your older brother, today a flower to defend the country will fall. Study
hard with preparation for death rather than books.
Don't get beaten by your older brother.
To my battlefield brothers,
I am going before you to Yasukuni Shrine . We will be blooming together in
tree branches in gardens at the flower capital, Yasukuni Shrine.
Letters translated by Bill Gordon
The letters and biographical information on this page come from Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai
1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is the place of
enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.
Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (Kanoya Naval
Air Base Museum Coordinating Committee). 2003. Kokoro no sakebi (Cries
of the heart). Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture: Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan