Deep Blue: From Chiran
Special Attack Air Base (1996)
Last Letters of Second Lieutenant Ichirō Ōno to His Parents and Older Brother
On April 23, 1945, Second Lieutenant Ichirō Ōno took off from Chiran Air Base
and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 22. He was
a member of the 103rd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted a Type 99
Assault Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack,
he received a promotion to Captain. He was from Gifu Prefecture, attended
Yokohama Higher Technical School,
and was a member of the 1st Class of the Army Special Cadet Officer Pilot
Training (Tokubetsu Sōjū Minarai Shikan) Program.
He wrote the following final letter:
Dear Father and Mother,
Recently my desire was fulfilled, and I became a member of the Special
Attack Corps. I will make a sortie to a certain area.
In my student days I devoted myself to studies in addition to aircraft
piloting. Please understand well that today this is to my advantage.
I will fight with complete devotion to fulfill my important mission to
defend the Empire and also for the honor of the Ōno Family.
My request is that I want you to place all your hopes on me.
Father and Mother, I earnestly pray that, in addition to taking care of
yourselves, that you have much success.
April 7, 1945
The following final letter is addressed to Kanesuke Kinoshita, who must be
his older brother based on references in the letter. His last name of Kinoshita
probably was taken from his wife's family name.
I have neglected to write for a long time. Suddenly I am writing a short
I trust that your family is enjoying good health during this season when
cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Recently it came about that I will make a sortie to a certain area as a
Special Attack Corps member.
I have supreme joy to have obtained the opportunity to follow Older
Brother Hiro's wishes and to live nobly for an eternal cause. Please report
my regards to Older Brother Hiro's spirit. Also, I thank you again and again
for your care during my lifetime.
Finally, I pray for your family's prosperity. Please put your hopes in
April 14 before advancing to base
Special Attack Corps 2nd Gōma  Squadron
Army Second Lieutenant Ichirō Ōno
Postscript - As for the information in this letter, I request that you do
not disclose anything until the official announcement after my death in
Letters translated by Bill Gordon
The letters come from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko Kai (1996, 105-6). The
biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Kōjo Nadeshiko
Kai (1996, 105), Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 184), and Osuo (2005,
1. Gōma means "conquering the devil." The 2nd Gōma
Squadron also was named the 103rd Shinbu Squadron.
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.