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Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps: Collected last
letters of youth that
would not return
(1983)

 
Last Letter of Ensign Takeshi Iinuma to His Parents

At 0400 on May 11, 1945, Ensign Takeshi [1] Iinuma took off from Ibusuki Air Base in a Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name of Jake) carrying an 800-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Sakigake Squadron [2] from Kashima Naval Air Group in Ibaraki Prefecture. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was from Kanagawa Prefecture, attended Yokohama College of Commerce, and was a member of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students.

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Parents,

The season of new green leaves has arrived. I trust that you are in good health.

At last I also have received an order. Today it has been decided that I will go to make an attack.

I thankfully appreciate that owing only to you I was able to live peacefully without one inconvenience for a long time.

Now I have no regrets.

From faraway Okinawan skies, I am praying that you will live in good health for many years.

April 29, 1945


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
April 2018

The letter comes from Kitagawa (1983, 194-5). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Kitagawa (1983, 194) and Osuo (2005, 238).

Notes

1. Takeshi and Hajime are both common pronunciations of the Japanese male name of 孟. Takeshi has been used for this web page, but it could not be confirmed what is the correct pronunciation.

2. Kitagawa (1983, 194) indicates that Iinuma was a member of the 1st Sakigake Squadron, but Osuo (2005, 238) and Tokkōtai Senbotsusha (1990, 203) state that he was a member of the 2nd Sakigake Squadron.

Sources Cited

Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1983. Sōretsu kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho shū (Heroic Kamikaze Special Attack Corps: Collected last letters of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Nihon Bungeisha.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). 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.