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Last Letter from Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Isao Itō to His Parents

Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Isao Itō from Kokonoe Town in Ōita Prefecture [1] died at age 20 in a special (suicide) attack near Okinawa. On May 11, 1945, he took off from Miyazaki Air Base as one of three crewmembers in a Ginga (Allied code name of Frances) bomber as a member of the Navy's Kamikaze Special Attack Corps. He graduated in the 18th Class of the Ōtsu Flight Training Program, and he was a member of the 9th Ginga Squadron. A total of six Ginga bombers with eighteen crewmen took off that day from Miyazaki Air Base and did not return [2].

Isao Itō's last letter written to his parents on the eve of his final mission is inscribed on a monument in an area next to the Miyazaki Special Attack Base Monument:

Last Letter

May 10, 1945, 5:48 p.m.
Navy Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Isao Itō

Dear Parents,

I have nothing to write. Only that I pray for your and Kumiko's health. I surely will keep pace with the others. I simply will die bravely. The objective is an aircraft carrier. In about ten days please send a letter to Isao [3] Ueno of the Tokushima Air Group 14th Squadron (buntai) 5th Section (han). When you receive the photos, please admire them without crying. I pray for your great happiness, and say hello to all of our relatives. Kumiko, I ask you to show devotion to Father and Mother. Be at peace. Do your best.

At Miyazaki Air Base, finished at 6:30

Kamikaze Special Attack Corps Kikusui Unit
Died at 20 years old

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
July 2017


1. Hometown found on following page of Yokaren Shiryōkan (Museum) web site:

2. Osuo 2005, 236-7.

3. The Japanese kanji for this name also could be Isamu.

Source Cited

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