On June 7, 1945, Corporal Heikichi Sasaki took off from Bansei Air Base as a
member of the 63rd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special
(suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 21. He piloted an Army Type 99
Assault Plane (Allied nickname of Sonia). After his death in a special attack,
he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Shizuoka Prefecture
and was a member of the 13th Class of the Sendai Pilot Training School.
Dear Father, Mother, Kimiko, and Tomotada,
At 21 years old, it is an honor during the country's crisis to volunteer
and fall as a flower for the Empire's defense. It has been difficult to not
have done anything in return for your concern and compassion, whether in
rain or wind, that you showed to me for 21 years. I have caused troubles for
you and had a lack of filial piety. Please consider now my only filial piety
as living for an eternal cause for the Empire during my life.
My one-week stay with you last month was my departure from this world.
Please guess what was in my heart that I could not disclose specifically to
you. Happily I was reassured when I saw the health and energy of you, my
Parents, and my beloved younger sister and brother. Even though my spirit is
for defense of the country, my spirit is as usual with you, my Parents, and
is praying sincerely for your good health and long life.
Moreover, please take care of my beloved younger sister and brother. I
pray for prosperity and tranquility for our family.
Parents and Younger Sister and Brother, stay in good health and live
Army Special Attack Corps Shinshū 
Army Corporal Heikichi
Written on May 14, 1945
I sent enclosed photos of me to home. Please give one photo to each of
the listed families in Haranomachi. By all means please contact each of the
families listed so they can remember me by the photo and so you can give
them thanks. I ask that you write a short letter instead of me to thank them
for their kindness shown to me during my lifetime.
- Grandparents in Tokushima and Setagaya
- Gorō-sensei of Sogano Family, and Asakura Family
- Katsunori Kameda-sensei at 1-43 Narimune Suginami-ku
- Yasuji Sawahata-sensei
- My friends Kiyoda and Koyano
- Yō Matsushima at 288 Hira-machi, Sasebo City
- Matsunaga Milk Shop in Sōma Haranomachi
- Setoya Furuyama in Sōma Haranomachi
- Kaga and others in Sōma Haranomachi
I received great care and unsurpassed kindness from everyone.
- Hiroki Kobayashi in Sōma Haranomachi
- Kantarō Yamamoto in Sōma Haranomachi
Same address but separate
- Everyone who made contributions
- Regards to Matsumoto Family
- No money loans
- No relation with woman
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Naemura (1993,
176-7) and Osuo (2005, 200).
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.