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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:

Dear 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 [1]. Now I will show this honorable act of filial piety.

Dear Parents, please take care and fight until the end. This is my final request.

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

Tomosumi

March 20, 1945


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
February 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 101, 196) and Osuo (2005, 211).

Note

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.

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.