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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 Susumu Misoka to His Family

At 1418 on April 29, 1945, Ensign Susumu Misoka took off from Kanoya Air Base as pilot in a Zero fighter carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 5th Shichishō Squadron from Genzan Naval Air Group in Korea. He was from Nagasaki Prefecture, attended Nagoya Higher Technical School, and was a member of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).

He wrote the following final letter to his family:

In the season of spring warmth, I trust that Father, Mother, Hiroshi, Takeshi, and Eiko are in high spirits. I also am in high spirits thanks to you and am on standby. From the skies above I said farewell to our home and neighborhood. Through the good offices of Yamakawa, I was able to exchange cups of sake with Father. In my heart I have no regrets. I am as normal with no changes. I am concerned more about whether I can sink instantly an enemy aircraft carrier than about dying. I have never seen men like my wingmen Ensign Miyazaki, Ensign Tanaka, and Ensign Kimura who all with calmness will tomorrow make a hisshi hitchū (certain-death, sure-hit) attacks. They are playing cards and absorbed in reading books. With this I think that Shinshū [1] Japan certainly will win. There is no way to express my thanks for the many ways that you showed me kindness for a long time for more than 20 years and for raising me to be a fine person so that for the Emperor I have a way to be able to repay a ten-thousandth of the Emperor's grace. Parents, please watch for my battle results. And if you receive notification of the battle results, please praise me. Absolutely do not shed any tears. I surely will return home. I with my form changed always will be living.

Give my warm regards to all of the neighbors. From my heart I pray for the health and success of my parents first and Hiroshi, Takeshi, and Eiko.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
December 2018

The letter comes from Kitagawa (1970, 185-6). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kitagawa (1970, 185) and Osuo (2005, 201).


1. Shinshū refers to Japan and literally means "divine land."

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.