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Last Letter from Corporal Tadamasa Fukuura to His Mother

At 1140 on April 12, 1945, Corporal Tadamasa Fukuura took off from Bansei Army Air Base as a member of the 102nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron, also known as the 1st Gōma [1] Squadron, and died in a special (suicide) attack at the age of 19. He piloted an Army Type 97 Fighter (Allied code name of Nate). After his death, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant.

Fukuura was from Shimane Prefecture and was in the 15th Kō Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) Program. He had assignments at Tōkyō, Kumagaya, and the 23rd Kyōiku Hikōtai (Flight Training Unit) Butai 15353 in Manchuria.

He wrote the following final letter to his mother:

Dear Mother,

Are you doing well? Finally the honorable mission has arrived for me also.

You have taken care of me for a long time.

Surely I will show that I will sink a ship magnificently. Please wait.

I am sending you my things. Please divide up the tobacco into small portions and give them, and do the same for the candies. The tobacco wrapped in a yellow cloth is onshi tobacco that I received from the Emperor.

Next, I tell you that I also was appointed.

Well, since I am busy, I will leave.

I pray that you will be well for a long time. The savings account passbook also is enclosed underneath.


Letters translated by Bill Gordon
February 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Naemura (1993, 136-7, 498).


1. Gōma means "conquering the devil."

Source Cited

Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō Shuppan.