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Last Letter of Sergeant Rokurō Urata to His Parents

On November 7, 1944, Sergeant Rokurō Urata took off from Marcot Airfield in the Philippines in a Type 4 Heavy Bomber (Allied code name of Peggy) and died east of Lamon Bay in the Philippines in a special (suicide) attack at the age of 25 [1]. He was a member of the Fugaku [2] Squadron. After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Ōsaka Prefecture and joined the Army in 1939.

Urata wrote the following last letter at Marcot Airfield:

Dear Parents,

I have come to this place and at last have obtained my long-cherished desire. I am just waiting for the final time to come. I certainly will not be defeated.

I have the same feeling as Dai-Nankō (Kusunoki Masashige) [3] who said, "Even though I am just one palace guard, the country's fate rests with me."

With a few days until the attack, I have no regrets.

I pray that you will spend the remaining years of your lives in good health. This is it.

November 2, 11 p.m.

Translated by Bill Gordon
May 2022

The letter comes from Kawachiyama (1990, 208-9). The biographical information on this page comes from Kawachiyama (1990, 248), Osuo (2005, 189), and Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 254).


1. Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 254) indicates that he was born in 1919, so he could have been either 24 or 25 at the date of his death on November 13, 1944. Kawachiyama (1990, 248) gives his age at death as 26. It could not be determined which is his correct age at death.

2. Fugaku means Mount Fuji.

3. Kusunoki Masashige was a 14th-century samurai warrior who symbolized courage and devotion to the Emperor. Dai-Nankō (or Nankō) is the honorary title given to Kusunoki Masashige.

Sources Cited

Kawachiyama, Yuzuru. 1990. On'ai no kizuna tachigatashi: Tokkō taichō Nishio Tsunesaburō no shōgai (Unbreakable bonds of kindness and affection: Life of special attack squadron leader Tsunesaburō Nishio). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.

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

Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai (Tokkōtai Commemoration Peace Memorial Association). 1990. Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: Tokkōtai Senbotsusha Irei Heiwa Kinen Kyōkai.