Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Iwatarō Tadano to His Parents
At 0704 on April 16, 1945, Flight Chief Petty Officer Iwatarō Tadano took off from
Kushira Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack near Okinawa at the age
of 21. He was from the 901st Naval Air Group and was a member of the Kamikaze
Special Attack Corps Kikusui Unit Ten'ō Squadron. He flew as radio
operator/gunner in a Tenzan carrier attack bomber (Allied code
name of Jill) carrying an 800-kg bomb. He was from Kagawa Prefecture and was a member of the 12th Otsu
Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).
He wrote the following last letter to his parents:
Dear Father and Mother,
My letter from Ōmura  probably surprised you and the others at home. I
also am finally at the last. Today or tomorrow I will carry a No. 80 (800-kg
bomb) and execute a taiatari (body-crashing) attack as a member of the
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Ten'ō Squadron.
Please forgive my lack of filial piety to you for a long time. At the end
I sincerely apologize to you. Now I go forgetting everything.
I am at Kushira Air Base in Kyūshū. Each day I am drinking and not
thinking about anything.
Please give my regards also to my older sister Miyauchi. Please send my
greetings to her home so there is in no way anything improper at all. Please
send my regards also to my older sister Nishimura.
Now there is nothing further that I must say in this letter. I will be
sending a package along with it. The muffler inside it was sent to me by
Nishihata. I wore this until the end. If Nishihata returns to our home and
says that he wants to burn incense in my memory, please feel comfortable and
let him do this. Also, please show him this muffler at that time. Passing
through the skies, which are a battlefield and place of death, the memories
are uncountable, and I departed with a pleasant feeling about his matter. I
am happy that laying it on your knees you can pray with your hands.
Please smile and do not be distraught. Until now, it was my dearest wish
that I would want to die seeing your faces one time. Those ten hours were
the final day.
Being chosen for the Special Attack Corps is an honor for a young man.
Please remember my figure leaving bravely with cherry blossoms stuck into my
flight cap and with a red sun, the mark of special attacks, on my white
hachimaki (headband). I will die smiling.
Give my greetings also to the neighbors.
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Ten'ō Squadron
Chief Petty Officer Iwatarō Tadano
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai
1. Ōmura was a naval air base in Nagasaki
Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan Renraku Kyōgikai (Kanoya Naval
Air Base Museum Coordinating Committee). 2003. Kokoro no sakebi (Cries
of the heart). Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture: Kanoya Kōkū Kichi Shiryōkan