Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps (1971)
Last Letter of Ensign Cadet Mikio Sugata to His Family
At 1151 on April 12, 1945, Ensign Cadet Mikio Sugata took off
from Kushira Air Base as navigator/observer in a Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber (Allied code name of
Kate) carrying a 800-kg bomb. He was a member of
the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Gokō Shirasagi  Squadron
from Himeji Naval Air Group. He died in
a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa. He was born in 1925 in Iwate
Prefecture, and he had been a student at Tōyō University in Tōkyō before entering
He wrote the following final letter to his family:
At my sortie, I will write a short letter. At a time when the war
situation has become more and more critical to the highest degree, I have
been selected as a Special Attack Corps member. This is nothing that
surpasses this as a young man's long-cherished desire. I only will push
The other day I asked a comrade to send to you a little bit of money and
a watch, so please accept them.
- I have no private concern.
- I have nothing with a woman.
- I have no borrowed item or money.
Mother, Older Brother, and Younger Sister, I only devote myself for the
Empire. I am just overflowing with feelings to be a foundation for
prosperity in the Empire. Mother, when you recover from your illness, take
good care of your health.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Matsugi
(1971, 147-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1971, 147) and Osuo (2005, 221).
1. The word Gokō means protecting the Empire.
Shirasagi means white egret. Himeji Castle, which dates back to the 14th
century, has the name of Shirasagi Castle.
Matsugi, Fujio, ed. 1971. Kaigun tokubetsu kōgekitai no isho (Last letters of Navy Special Attack Corps).
Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.