Last Letter of Corporal Kōshirō Itō to His Parents
On June 8, 1945, Corporal Kōshirō Itō took off from Chiran Air Base
and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He was
a member of the 48th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an Army Hayabusa
Type 1 Fighter (Allied code name of Oscar). After his death in a special attack, he
received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He grew up in Akita Prefecture
and was a member of the 13th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi)
He wrote the following final letter addressed to his parents:
Dear Father and Mother,
The time has come, and I received the imperial command for a sortie. Now
I will make a sortie. There is no long-cherished desire of a young man of
Yamato (Japan) that surpasses this.
Smiling, I will live for an eternal cause. It is truly inexcusable that I
caused you many worries for a long time. Please forgive me.
I will live up to your expectations with hissatsu hitchū
I sincerely ask your upbringing of my younger brothers and sisters.
Please send letters of thanks to the persons who supported me.
Finally, I pray for your good health.
31st, at sortie 
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 147, 159) and Osuo (2005, 202).
1. Apparently Itō's sortie was delayed, since
he did not take off from Chiran Air Base until June 8.
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.