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Last Letter of Flight Warrant Officer Hisaoki Yoshizawa to His Parents

At 1500 on April 7, 1945, Flight Warrant Officer Hisaoki Yoshizawa took off from Miyazaki Air Base as pilot in a Ginga bomber (Allied code name of Frances) loaded with a 800-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Mitate Squadron from the 706th Naval Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa. He was from Tōkyō Prefecture and was a member of the 1st Toku Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following short final letter to his parents with a death poem in tanka form (31-syllable poem with lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables) at the beginning:

Mountain cherry blossom
At time to go to fall
If it does not fall
The time to go to fall
Already goes away

Dear Father and Mother,

As usual I am full of energy and working hard at military tasks.

I will go in high spirits and die for the Empire. There is nothing more to write.

I pray for your health.


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
April 2018

The letter comes from Kitagawa (1983, 117-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kitagawa (1983, 117) and Osuo (2005, 228).

Sources Cited

Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1983. Sōretsu kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho shū (Heroic Kamikaze Special Attack Corps: Collected last letters of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Nihon Bungeisha.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.