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Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps
(1983 cover)
(originally published as
Ah, Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps
in 1970)

Last Letter of Ensign Hitoshi Kawai

At 1645 on April 6, 1945, Ensign Hitoshi Kawai took off from Kokubu No. 1 Air Base as pilot in a Suisei Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Judy) carrying a 500-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Mitate Squadron from the 601st Naval Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 22. He was from Hokkaidō Prefecture, attended Tōhoku Gakuin University in Sendai City, and was a member of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).

He wrote the following final letter:

At long last I will accomplish my desire.

I have not even one regret.

I pray for everyone's health.

Final letter of
Ensign Hitoshi Kawai

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
December 2018

The letter comes from Kitagawa (1970, 83). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kitagawa (1970, 83) and Osuo (2005, 228).

Sources Cited

Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1970. Ā kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho shū (Ah, 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.