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I will die in a special attack:
Yokaren writings

Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Saburō Mogi to His Mother

At 0556 on May 4, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Saburō Mogi took off from Kanoya Air Base as pilot in a Zero Fighter Trainer carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack east of Okinawa at the age of 19. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 5th Shinken Squadron from Ōmura Naval Air Group. He was from Fukushima Prefecture and was a member of the 18th Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following final letter to his mother. Orihara (1973, 325) indicates that the letter was written in March 1945, and the Shinken Special Attack Unit were formed at Ōmura Naval Air Group on March 21, 1945 [1]. Based on this information and the letter's contents, it is not certain whether the letter was written before or after Mogi's assignment to the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Shinken Unit.

I may not be able to see your face any more.

Mother, please show your face often. However, I do not want to leave any memento. It is because after ten or twenty years pass, looking at a memento will make you cry.

Mother, on the day that I left Kōriyama, I flew over our house. That was my farewell to you.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
November 2018

The letter comes from Orihara (1973, 325). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Orihara (1973, 325) and Osuo (2005, 202).


1. Ōmura Kaigun Kōkū Kichi (Ōmura Naval Air Base) <http://shinkokunippon.blog122.fc2.com/blog-entry-1463.html> (November 7, 2018).

Sources Cited

Orihara, Noboru, comp. 1973. Ware tokkō ni shisu: Yokaren no ikō (I will die in a special attack: Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program) writings). Tōkyō: Keizai Ōraisha.

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