Last Letter from Corporal Tadamasa Fukuura to His Mother
At 1140 on April 12, 1945, Corporal Tadamasa Fukuura took off from Bansei
Army Air Base as a member of the 102nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron, also
known as the 1st Gōma  Squadron, and died in a special (suicide) attack at the age of 19. He piloted
an Army Type 97 Fighter (Allied code name of Nate). After his death, he received
a promotion to Second Lieutenant.
Fukuura grew up in Shimane Prefecture and was in the 15th Kō Class of the
Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) Program. He had assignments at Tōkyō, Kumagaya,
and the 23rd Kyōiku Hikōtai (Flight Training Unit) Butai 15353 in Manchuria.
He wrote the following final letter to his mother:
Are you doing well? Finally the honorable mission has arrived for me
You have taken care of me for a long time.
Surely I will show that I will sink a ship magnificently. Please wait.
I am sending you my things. Please divide up the tobacco into small
portions and give them, and do the same for the candies. The tobacco wrapped
in a yellow cloth is onshi tobacco that I received from the Emperor.
Next, I tell you that I also was appointed.
Well, since I am busy, I will leave.
I pray that you will be well for a long time. The savings account
passbook also is enclosed underneath.
Letters translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Naemura
(1993, 136-7, 498).
1. Gōma means "conquering the devil."
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