Last Letter of Sergeant Yoshirō Munakata to His Parents
On April 7, 1945, Sergeant Yoshirō Munakata took off from Bansei Air Base as
a member of the 75th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special
(suicide) attack at Okinawa's Nakagusuku Bay at the age of 21. He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied
code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack, he received a three-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Nagasaki Prefecture and
was a member of the 9th Class of the Yonago Pilot Training School.
He wrote the following final letter:
You have taken care of me for a long time.
Please forgive my lack of filial piety.
A cherry blossom will fall.
Evening before sortie
Written at southernmost tip of Kyūshū
Postscript - Please give my regards to the people in the village and to
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter on this page comes from Naemura (1993,
129-30). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran
Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 211), Naemura (1993, 129, 474), and Osuo (2005,
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.
Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last
letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.