Last Letter of Corporal Teruo Mino to His Parents
On May 25, 1945, Corporal Teruo Mino took off from Chiran Army Air Base as a
member of the 29th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special attack
west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He piloted an Army Hayabusa Type 1 Fighter
(Allied code name of Oscar). After his death in a special attack, he received a
promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Hyōgo Prefecture and was a member of
the 13th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
I left home a long time ago when I was 18 years old. I truly regret that
I have not been able to repay even a ten-thousandth of your kindness to me.
However, now I have received an Imperial command. Being able to participate
as a member of the Army Special Attack Corps is the most cherished desire of
a young man of Yamato .
Now I have no regrets. I am determined to die for the Empire of 100
million people. I cannot help but think of the days of my youth up to now.
If I can leave behind a great achievement, perhaps this will become even
repayment of your kindness. With one plane for one ship, surely I will sink
it at once.
Finally there are no complaints, but I want my brothers
certainly to become soldiers. My aunt in Seoul is the same as you, Mother.
For me I can have two good mothers.
Without any complaint, happily I expect an immediate sinking.
Please have the enclosed item as an heirloom. It was written for me by
the Army Commander.
He also wrote a last letter just before his sortie:
Dear Father and Mother,
I trust that you are doing well every day.
I have been blessed with fortune in battle. This morning on May 25 during
the 8th General Attack, I will carry out a strike against a ship at Okinawa.
Of course my life will be only until this.
Please strive day to day in high spirits until the day of victory.
I earnestly ask that you take care of matters concerning Tsutomu.
In a straight line I certainly will make a taiatari
(body-crashing) attack against an enemy ship and instantly sink it.
May 25, 2 a.m.
It is a matter of time since the sortie is after.
Translated by Bill Gordon
First letter -
Second letter - July 2018
The first letter comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 132). The
second letter comes from Muranaga (1989, 50-1). The biographical information in
the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 132, 196) and Osuo (2005, 196).
1. Yamato is a ancient name for the country of
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.
Muranaga, Kaoru, ed. 1989. Chiran tokubetsu kōgekitai
(Chiran special attack forces). Kagoshima City: Japlan.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.