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Flight Trainees (2)

Last Letter of Flight Warrant Officer Toshio Mogi to His Parents

At 1530 on October 27, 1944, Flight Warrant Officer Toshio Mogi took off from Nichols No. 1 Air Base in the Philippines as pilot of a Suisei Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Judy) loaded with a 500-kg bomb. He was a member of the 2nd Kamikaze Special Attack Unit Chūyū Squadron from the 701st Naval Air Group. His squadron searched for enemy ships east of Lamon Bay, but after not finding any he died in a special (suicide) attack in Leyte Gulf at the age of 25. He was from Gunma Prefecture and was a member of the 6th Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Parents,

Now as a member of the Special Attack Corps, by my life I will obtain honor as I soon will destroy the American enemy fleet in a counterattack.

For some time I have looked forward to this during this critical situation. I am determined to charge forward in high spirits.

During that ten-year period since I committed myself to the Navy, I fulfilled my duties without committing any serious mistake due to the guidance from you Father and Mother and everyone else from my hometown, but I very deeply apologize that I went without showing anything to you that could be called filial piety.

The news of this daring undertaking graciously has reached the ears of the Emperor, and I have heard that in a documentary film it was reported before Him. As for this honor for me, first I deeply appreciate the gift of my training by you for 25 years, and I think that you also will be glad for me.

Since our planes have two crewmen each, I as the pilot and Lieutenant Kyōji Yamada as the commander will fly together.

With Lieutenant Yamada, since Katori Air Base we have participated for a long time in the war as a pair.

He is an excellent officer from the Naval Academy.

As kindred spirits, we are determined to crash dive smiling into the enemy fleet. Well, this is it.

Once more I very deeply thank you for my upbringing of 25 years to obtain this honor.

Finally, I pray that you will take good care of yourselves all the more and will stay in good health until complete victory in the Greater East Asia War.

Also, since I will not send separately a letter to Michiko, please notify her when this letter arrives.

Please excuse my leaving.

October 27, 1944
At Manila


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
November 2018

The letter comes from Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (2006, 8-9). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Osuo (2005, 159) and Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (2006, 8).

Sources Cited

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.

Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (Unabarakai Editing Committee). 2006. Kaigun hikō yoka renshūsei isho • iei • ikōshū (2) (Last letters, poems, and writings of Navy Preparatory Flight Trainees (2)). Tōkyō: Unabarakai.