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Last Letters of Second Lieutenant Hiroshi Konda to His Parents

On May 28, 1945, Second Lieutenant Hiroshi Konda took off from Miyakonojō East Airfield as a member of the 58th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He piloted an Army Hayate Type 4 Fighter (Allied code name of Frank). After his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Captain. He was from Rumoi City in Hokkaidō Prefecture, attended Hokkaidō 1st Teachers College, and was a member of the 1st Class of the Army Special Cadet Officer Pilot Training (Tokubetsu Sōjū Minarai Shikan) Program.

The following final letter written by Konda has a postmark of May 29, 1945, one day after his sortie:

A long time has passed without contacting you.

At last I will go in high spirits.

I pray for everyone's health and great happiness.

Sometime in the future I will return as a worthy man.

Farewell.

Konda also wrote the following last letter:

Dear Father and Mother,

You have taken care of me for a very long time. I can be useful in an honorable way as a member of the Army Fighter Corps. Please be glad.

I regret that I was not able to show any significant filial piety, but I think that my first act of filial piety will be my last.

I pray for everyone's health and great happiness.

Accepting my honorable mission in my first battle
Spreading my wings with only certain success, only certain success

Above is a short note as a farewell to this life.

Army Special Attack Corps 58th Shinbu Squadron
Army Second Lieutenant Hiroshi Konda


Letters translated by Bill Gordon
August 2018

The letters come from Terai (1977, 85-6). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 155), Osuo (2005, 199), and Terai (1977, 85).

Sources Cited

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.

Terai, Shunichi, ed. 1977. Kōkū Kichi Miyakonojō Hayate Tokkō Shinbutai (Miyakonojō Air Base Hayate Special Attack Shinbu Unit). Tōkyō: Genshobō.