Last Letter of Sergeant Tomosumi Mori to His Parents
On April 6, 1945, Sergeant Tomosumi Mori
took off from Nyūtabaru Air Base in Miyazaki Prefecture and died in a special (suicide) attack
west of Okinawa at the age of
24. He was a member of the Makoto 36th Hikōtai (Flying Squadron). He flew in a Type 98 Direct Cooperation Reconnaissance Aircraft (Allied code name of
Ida). After his death in a special
attack, he received a promotion to Second Lieutenant. He was from Wakayama
Prefecture and was a non-commissioned officer who entered the Army in 1940.
He wrote the following final letter with a poem at the end to his parents:
Please be glad that I also can realize my burning desire to go to battle
as a member of the Special Attack Corps. Happy that I can display fully my
skills acquired up to now, I will live for an eternal cause.
Please forgive me for not being able to show even any filial piety to you
during my 26 years . Now I will show this
honorable act of filial piety.
Dear Parents, please take care and fight until the end. This is my final
I will go after I compose a poem at the end.
A life's death only one
In skies of southern seas I will die
March 20, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 101, 196) and Osuo (2005, 211).
1. The traditional Japanese method of counting
age, as in much of East Asia, regards a child as age one at birth and adds an
additional year on each New Year's day thereafter. This most likely explains why
the letter indicates his age as 26 whereas the background information in Chiran
Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 101) indicates his age as 24.
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.