Last letters, poems, and
writings of Navy Preparatory
Flight Trainees (2) (2006)
Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Takeshi Kado to His Parents
At 1543 on April 6, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Takeshi Kado took
off from Kushira Air Base as pilot of a Tenzan carrier attack bomber (Allied code
name of Jill) carrying an 800-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack off
Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps
Kikusui Unit Tenzan Squadron from the 601st Naval Air Group. He was from Shimane
Prefecture and was a member of the 15th Kō Class of the Navy's Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program).
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
I know that there has been great damage due to frequent air attacks on
the Imperial capital, but we are striving to repay the enemy double that.
Finally this is the end. Father and Mother, be in high spirits. When the
white wooden box  arrives, it was not a great achievement, but please
praise me without crying.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai
(2006, 2). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Osuo (2005, 211) and Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai
1. A white wooden box was how the Japanese
military usually delivered the remains of war dead to their families. In the
case of kamikaze pilots, the remains such as fingernails or hairs from the head
would often be prepared in advance. There are also cases where the white box
would arrive at the family's home with no remains.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.
Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (Unabarakai Editing
Committee). 2006. Kaigun hikō yoka renshūsei
isho • iei • ikōshū (2) (Last letters, poems,
and writings of Navy Preparatory Flight Trainees (2)). Tōkyō: