Only search Kamikaze Images


Last Letter of Corporal Shōichi Yasui to His Family

On April 7, 1945, Corporal Shōichi Yasui took off from Bansei Air Base as a member of the 74th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack at Okinawa's Nakagusuku Bay at the age of 19. He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack, he received a four-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. Yasui was from Kyōto Prefecture and was a member of the 15th Class of the Army Youth Pilots (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.

He wrote the following final letter addressed to Michitarō Yasui, who probably was his father based on the letter's contents:

It has become warm. I trust that you are doing well. I also am in high spirits, and finally my mission has arrived. I am absolutely determined to accomplish it splendidly. Please rest assured.

Take care of yourselves. A reply is unnecessary. Farewell.


Regards to my teachers.

Regards to the villagers.

Older Sister, show filial piety to our parents.

Matsuo, become a soldier pilot soon.

Instant sinking

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
December 2018

The letter comes from Naemura (1993, 120). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 190), Naemura (1993, 120, 474), and Osuo (2005, 201).

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.