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Last Letter of Sergeant Yoshirō Munakata to His Parents

On April 7, 1945, Sergeant Yoshirō Munakata took off from Bansei Air Base as a member of the 75th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack at Okinawa's Nakagusuku Bay at the age of 21. He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack, he received a three-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Nagasaki Prefecture and was a member of the 9th Class of the Yonago Pilot Training School.

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Parents,

You have taken care of me for a long time.

Please forgive my lack of filial piety.

A cherry blossom will fall.

Yoshirō Munakata

Evening before sortie
Written at southernmost tip of Kyūshū

Postscript - Please give my regards to the people in the village and to our relatives.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
March 2018

The letter on this page comes from Naemura (1993, 129-30). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 211), Naemura (1993, 129, 474), and Osuo (2005, 202).

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.

Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō Shuppan.

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