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Last letters, poems, and
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Flight Trainees (2)

Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Teruo Fukushima to His Family

At 0344 on March 27, 1945, Flight Chief Petty Officer Teruo Fukushima took off from Miyazaki Air Base as observer in a Ginga bomber (Allied code name of Frances) loaded with a 800-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 1st Ginga Squadron from the 762nd Naval Air Group . He was from Tōkyō Prefecture and was a member of the 10th Kō Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Parents, Brother, and Sister,

Thank you for what you have done for me for a long time.

I am in extremely high spirits and am working hard at my daily military duties. To my Parents first and to everyone, I trust that you are in even higher spirits and are striving as much as you can.

Probably the supply of goods is critical. I always have been thinking about this, but I have not been able to do anything.

Please forgive me. The goods that are here may be the ones that I leave behind for you. Before anything I will send them. As for the characters that I have written now, since it is 1 o'clock at night, I cannot see anything in the lodging to make a package.

Please have a hearty laugh. In this album there are various things. I received in good condition the photos that you took. Finally I have been able to obtain a place to die as a man. Please be glad for my good fortune.

Riding our aircraft as crewmen, for me not yet 20 years old, it is a life where even though there is a today there is no tomorrow. There may not be any good words for it, but I truly am happy.

Parents, please wait. The persons at my lodging are very good people.

They treat me with love as you my Father and Mother.

There is not greater happiness than this.

Wherever I go, I am treated with kindness. Whether at Tokushima or Kōchi, I am satisfied.

Please do not be worried, and wait for me.

Teruo of now is different than Teruo from before.



Tsugio and Hatsue, be in high spirits, and you must work hard at your studies. I will be waiting for you at Yasukuni Shrine [1].

Today I wrote this at 1:30.

Please forgive me that due to a sudden transfer I could not write the characters satisfactorily.

From Teruo

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
November 2018

The letter comes from Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (2006, 20-1). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Osuo (2005, 234) and Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (2006, 20-1).


1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is the place of enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.

Sources Cited

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

Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (Unabarakai Editing Committee). 2006. Kaigun hikō yoka renshūsei isho • iei • ikōshū (2) (Last letters, poems, and writings of Navy Preparatory Flight Trainees (2)). Tōkyō: Unabarakai.