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To the end of the flowing clouds:
Writings of Navy reserve
students who died in war

Last Letter of Lieutenant Junior Grade Hiroshi Nagao to His Parents

At 1523 on April 28, 1945, Lieutenant Junior Grade Hiroshi Nagao took off from Kokubu No. 2 Air Base as pilot in a Type 99 Carrier Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Val) carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 22. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Kusanagi Squadron from Nagoya Naval Air Group. He was from Saga Prefecture, attended Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka City, 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 parents:

 I thank you for raising me for the long time of 22 years since I received life.

 Please forgive my frequent lack of filial piety.

 I was yours. I offered myself to His Majesty the Emperor, and I am not yours. After I entered the Navy, please be prepared for me to not be here.

 I have a good Father, a good Mother, and two good Younger Sisters. I freely can face the decisive battle in the skies.

 Father, acting for me, please bring up Yoshiko and Toshiko.

 I earnestly pray for long life for you.

 I pray for the health of you and my younger sisters.

Father, precious Father, Mother, precious Mother, thank you for your care in many ways for a long time.

I sincerely ask that you take care of Yoshiko and Toshiko.

I will meet you in front of the main hall at Yasukuni Shrine [1].

So then, I am going. Take care of yourselves.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
May 2018

The letter comes from Hakuō Izokukai (1952, 203-4). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Hakuō Izokukai (1952, 203 and Osuo (2005, 226).


1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is the place of enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.

Sources Cited

Hakuō Izokukai (Hakuō Bereaved Families Association), ed. 1952. Kumo nagaruru hate ni: Senbotsu kaigun hikō yobi gakusei no shuki (To the end of the flowing clouds: Writings of Navy reserve student who died in war). Tōkyō: Nihon Shuppan Kyōdō.

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