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Last Letter of Corporal Teruo Mino to His Parents

On May 25, 1945, Corporal Teruo Mino took off from Chiran Army Air Base as a member of the 29th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. 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 was from Hyōgo Prefecture and was a member of the 13th Class of the Army Youth Pilot (Rikugun Shōhi) training program.

He wrote the following final letter to his parents:

Dear Parents,

I left home a long time ago when I was 18 years old. I truly regret that I have not been able to repay even a ten-thousandth of your kindness to me. However, now I have received an Imperial command. Being able to participate as a member of the Army Special Attack Corps is the most cherished desire of a young man of Yamato [1].

Now I have no regrets. I am determined to die for the Empire of 100 million people. I cannot help but think of the days of my youth up to now.

If I can leave behind a great achievement, perhaps this will become even repayment of your kindness. With one plane and one ship, surely I will sink it at once.

Finally there are no complaints, but I want my brothers certainly to become soldiers. My aunt in Seoul is the same as you, Mother. For me I can have two good mothers.

Without any complaint, happily I expect an immediate sinking.

Please have the enclosed item as an heirloom. It was written for me by the Army Commander.


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
March 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 132, 196) and Osuo (2005, 196).


1. Yamato is a poetic name for the country of Japan.

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.