Last Letter of Corporal Genzō Takeda to His Grandmother
On May 28, 1945, Corporal Genzō Takeda
took off from Bansei Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack
west of Okinawa at the age of
20. He was a member of the 432nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an
Army Type 2 Advanced Trainer. After his death in a special
attack, he received a four-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He grew up in Hokkaidō
Prefecture and was in the 14th Class of the Army's Pilot Training School at
He wrote the following final letter to his grandmother:
You took care of me for a long time. I warmly thank you for your
Did you know that I visited about 1300 hours? I saw clearly the persons
who went up to the roof and were waving red and white clothes. Grandmother,
it surely must have been you who was waving from the second floor.
Finally it is the sortie. Certainly I will sink at once an enemy ship.
I am really saddened to depart from my squadron commander, who I truly
thank strongly for his valuable encouragement. Missing my squadron commander
as I lag behind even though I follow, I go after him as I earnestly live
only for an eternal cause as a shield for the Emperor.
Please live long in good health with my portion.
Thank you for the various things that you have done for me.
Everyone, I will pass overhead about 0500.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 140, 155) and Osuo (2005, 207).
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.