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Kenji Tomizawa

Last Letter of Second Lieutenant Kenji Tomizawa

Kenji Tomizawa was born in March 1922 and was from Tōkyō Prefecture. After accelerated graduation in September 1943 from Tokyo's Chūō University Commerce Department, he entered the 1st Class of the Army's Special Cadet Officer Pilot program. In October 1944, he graduated from Kumagaya Army Flight School Atsugi Training Unit and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. In November, he was assigned to the Tachiarai Flight School Kiwaki Training Unit in Miyazaki Prefecture. In January 1945, he transferred to Shimoshizu Airfield in Chiba Prefecture.

On March 23, 1945, he become a member of the 62nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron when it was formed at Shimoshizu Airfield. On April 6, 1945, he died in a suicide attack when his squadron's Type 99 Assault Planes (Allied nickname of Sonia) took off from Bansei Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture. He was 23 years of age at the time of his death.

Tomizawa wrote the following last letter to his family:

I trust that everyone has been doing well recently.

I am dearly grateful that you went to all the trouble to come visit me the other day in such a busy time. Since my injury is already healed, do not worry.

At last for me also the time of final service has arrived. I very deeply appreciate my special upbringing until now. I am one who lacked courage, but please do speak well of me.

In order to destroy our enemy, I will summon courage with all my might and will go to strike. We are the ones to deliver the country from the current crisis. Taking pride in this, I will surely do it. My comrades have already done it. Even right now my comrades, believing in those who will follow after them, are striking the enemy. Shall I keep silent? Shall I try to be quiet about this? Father, Mother, please do congratulate me.

Brother, sister, please take care of Father and Mother.

I surely will be protecting everybody from the eternal faraway skies in Nansei Shotō (Okinawa and other islands in archipelago that stretch south of Kyushu and toward Taiwan). Even though my body dies, I will certainly defend you.

Please give my kindest regards to the neighbors. I hope you will always keep in contact with Mr. Ebihara of Honjō. Since I have been busy, I have not been able to write a letter to him for a long time. Please give my greetings to Mr. Nishigaya also.

With this I give you my final farewell. Thank you for everything. Goodbye, goodbye.

Second Lieutenant Tomizawa

Shiraume (White Plum Blossom) Squadron was the nickname for the 62nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. Five members, including Tomizawa, died in special (suicide) attacks on April 6, 1945, after they made sorties from Bansei Air Base. In addition, one squadron member died in a special attack on April 3, and another two squadron members died in special attacks on April  12. [1]

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
May 2012

Source of Letter and Photo

The letter and photo are from Naemura (1993, 101-2).


1. Osuo 2005, 54, 200.

Sources Cited

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)). Tokyo: Kōjinsha.