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Last Letter of Corporal Nariaki Yoshimizu to His Parents

On May 4, 1945, Corporal Nariaki Yoshimizu took off from Miyakonojō East Airfield as a member of the 60th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 19. He piloted an Army Hayate Type 4 Fighter (Allied code name of Frank). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Kagoshima Prefecture and was a member of the 14th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.

He wrote the following final letter to his parents:

I want to give my thanks at the occasion of my going.

It has finally come about that I can report on behalf of the Emperor. I deeply thank you and everyone for your assistance. Even though from the beginning offering my life for the Emperor was the long-cherished desire of a young Japanese man that nothing can surpass, I think that piloting a cutting-edge aircraft and making a taiatari (body-crashing) attack against an enemy ship is the greatest honor. It is loyalty and filial piety together as one. I will not stop believing in my hope that you certainly will be satisfied.

Finally, praying for your health, I will stop writing.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
July 2018

The letter comes from Terai (1977, 52). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 218) and Osuo (2005, 199).

Members of 60th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron.
Nariaki Yoshimizu is on the far right.

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.

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

Terai, Shun'ichi, ed. 1977. Kōkū Kichi Miyakonojō Hayate Tokkō Shinbutai (Miyakonojō Air Base Hayate Special Attack Shinbu Unit). Tōkyō: Genshobō.