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Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps

Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Kazuo Osaka to His Father

At 1600 on January 9, 1945, Flight Chief Petty Officer Kazuo Osaka took off from Tuguegarao Airfield in the Philippines in a Zero fighter and died at Lingayen Gulf at the age of 19. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 26th Kongō Squadron. He was an escort for Zero fighters carrying 250-kg bombs with a mission to crash into an enemy ship. He was from Ōita Prefecture and was a member of the 10th Kō Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program). Afterward, he became a member of the 221st Naval Air Group.

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Father,

Is everyone doing well? I am in high spirits and working diligently at my military tasks. Please rest assured. I apologize to not write a letter for a long time. Being somewhat popular, I am a poor correspondent. I am sending to you unneeded items to deal with the things around me. Although I have gone to the front line, they have become a burden, and also there are only useless things, so please store them although it is a bother.

Thank you for taking care of me for a long time. Although I die, I will not forget the kindness of my parents and grandparents. Please forgive me for my frequent lack of filial piety. I regret that I did not do even the things as a child I should have done. However, I also am a crewmember of a Navy fighter aircraft. I will not do anything to bring disgrace on my hometown. I will show you that certainly I will die honorably.

Concerning Yoshinori's future, please decide based on much discussion between you and Mother. Since there are also hopes of the school teachers, please consider fully their points. Give my regards to Grandfather and Grandmother. Send my regards to the Village Mayor, Principal, and the villagers. I have no regrets. Send my regards to Nakamura in Ōita.

I have no money loans. I have no connection with a woman. There were times when I drank alcohol and went on quite a rampage, but there is nothing concerning a woman and no regret in my heart. Do not worry.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
March 2018

The letter comes from Matsugi (1971, 126-7). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Matsugi (1971, 126) and Osuo (2005, 172).

Sources Cited

Matsugi, Fujio, ed. 1971. Kaigun tokubetsu kōgekitai no isho (Last letters of Navy Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.

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