Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps (1971)
Last Letter of Lieutenant Junior Grade Haruji Endō to His Parents
At 1035 on January 7, 1945, Lieutenant Junior Grade Haruji Endō took off from
Echague Airfield in the Philippines as a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack
Corps 28th Kongō Squadron from the 201st Air Group. He piloted a Zero fighter as an escort to
the three Zero fighters in his squadron that were each carrying a 250-kg bomb. He
died in a special (suicide) attack at Lingayen Gulf at the age of 21. He was from Hiroshima
Prefecture and graduated in the 72nd Class of the Naval Academy at Etajima.
He wrote the following final letter:
Due to poor weather, the departure was postponed until today. Finally I
intend to depart within a short time. Today also since the morning there has
been rain, and the mountains seem like they have received snow. The sudden
change in weather surprises me. If the weather clears up, in high spirits I
will depart, flying my plane headed toward OO 
Base. Will this be Leyte Gulf? Without knowing the place where I will go, I
only await the Imperial command. When I take off, there is nothing to fear
from the Americans and British with the spirit of our OO Squadron. Laughing
heartily, I willingly only live for the great cause.
I ask you to take care of the education of my younger brothers and
sisters. I will send you two pieces of luggage, a trunk and a wicker
suitcase. Also, please be aware that I requested at the photo studio that
the photograph of my battlefield figure taken in a Type 3 uniform (taken in
Nagasaki prior to departure) be sent to our home.
Younger Brothers and Sisters, farewell and take care.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Matsugi
(1971, 157-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1971, 157) and Osuo (2005, 172).
1. OO indicates information that was a military
secret and could not be included in the letter.
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.