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Last Letter of Sergeant Keizō Mizokawa to His Parents

On April 28, 1945, Sergeant Keizō Mizokawa took off from Giran Airfield in Taiwan and died in a special (suicide) attack southwest of Kerama Rettō at the age of 21. He was a member of the 105th Hikō Sentai (Flying Regiment). He piloted an Army Hien Type 3 Fighter (Allied code name of Tony). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He grew up in Kyōto Prefecture and was a member of the 11th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.

Mizokawa wrote the following final letter to his parents:

Dear Parents,

Finally there was the order for a sortie today in the evening. Please rest assured. Surely I will succeed splendidly. Now it is two hours before the sortie.

Everyone in my squadron is cheerful. I also will go smiling.

Now already freed from all earthly desires, I have a refreshing feeling. The more that I do not think about that in a few hours later I will be leaving this world, the more that the bomb that I am carrying will flash menacingly. It is as if to say that it will explode properly.

I am going. Everyone, take care.

April 28, 1500

Keizō Mizokawa

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
March 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 114, 191), Hara (2004, 213), and Osuo (2005, 214).

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.

Hara, Katsuhiro. 2004. Shinsō kamikaze tokkō: Hisshi hitchū no 300 nichi (Kamikaze special attack facts: 300 days of certain-death, sure-hit attacks). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.

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