Deep Blue: From Chiran
Special Attack Air Base (1996)
Last Letter of Second Lieutenant Takeichi Minoshima to His Parents
On April 6, 1945, Second Lieutenant Takeichi Minoshima took
off from Chiran Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of
Okinawa at the age of 21. He was a member of the 43rd Shinbu Special
Attack Squadron and piloted an Army Hayabusa Type 1 Fighter (Allied
code name of Oscar). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to
Prefecture, attended Gifu Teachers College, and was a member of the 1st
Class of the Army Special Cadet Officer Pilot Training (Tokubetsu Sōjū Minarai
He wrote the following final letter:
Thank you for what you have done for me for a long time.
At a front line base, with poor handwriting I am writing what I think
will be my final letter.
I returned again to good old Chiran Town. Here the cherry trees are in
full bloom, the seven spring flower types are blossoming in full glory, and
the butterflies and small birds gather together to enjoy themselves. It is
the landscape of a southern land with early summer on display.
The base exhibits liveliness as both those who go and those who send them
off put their lives on the line. They truly are brave persons.
It is a touching scene where young cherry blossoms go to fall for the
At sundown it is a peaceful, pure scene without being able to think of my
figure tomorrow as one plane after another will go to the skies above the
I was raised by the pure stream of my hometown. Now with righteous wings
I go out into the world.
Well then, I will go. Without tears please check the battle results.
Parents and Younger Brothers and Sisters , please understand my feelings.
The image of the skies of my hometown, where probably soon the warm
spring will visit, is unforgettable and hard to leave.
A Japanese warrior who will go bravely.
I am praying for everyone's health.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (1996, 56-7). The
biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko
Kai (1996, 56), Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 183), and Osuo (2005,
1. The number of younger brothers and sisters is
not specified in the letter. He may have had one or more younger brothers and
one or more younger sisters.
Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (Chiran Girls High School Nadeshiko
Association), ed. 1996. Gunjō: Chiran tokkō kichi yori
(Deep blue: From Chiran special attack air base). Originally
published in 1979. Kagoshima City: Takishobō.
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.