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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:

Dear 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 [1].

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 - March 2018
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 Japan.

Sources Cited

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.