Another "Eternal Zero":
Tsukuba Naval Air Group (2014)
Last Letter of Ensign Kunihiro Moroi to His Parents
At 0657 on May 11, 1945, Ensign Kunihiro Moroi took off from Kanoya Air Base
as pilot in a Zero fighter carrying a 500-kg bomb and died in a special
(suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 23. He was a member of the
Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 5th Tsukuba Squadron. After his death in a special
attack, he received a promotion to Lieutenant. He was from Nara
Prefecture, attended Kokugakuin University in Tōkyō to study history, and was a member of the 14th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve
Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
It already has been a few days since I came here to the largest
southern air base. Curiously I have been able to live
a long life, and I am still here.
Today the sortie that I thought that I would make did not happen, but tomorrow
is not known. When I make a sortie one time, we five young cherry blossoms
will make taiatari (body-crashing) attacks and will fall together
with bombs in our
country's manner. I truly am fortunate that the plane
that I will be able to go in is a cutting-edge combat fighter.
Only God knows my current mental state.
Every day I dream of the family. Before long my spirit most likely will
Even being an average person, I will only do it excellently. Please rest
assured since it will measure up to your expectations. Shortly when there is
news of the sinking of an enemy aircraft carrier, please know that I went to
Yasukuni Shrine . In one stroke I will repay
your kindness for 23 years. For my country and for my family, I go to battle
praying to act with all my might. Someone composed such a poem:
Though our five bodies will break together with enemy ships
In my mother's dreams I will return from time to time
When I fly my plane, I forget just about everything. It's good.
I leave praying for the Empire's prosperity and your good health.
Postscript - I think that my bags will be sent by men at Tsukuba. They
are a wicker suitcase and an overnight bag. I think that soon my photos will
be sent by someone. Farewell.
Decisive action, 23 years old, Kunihiro
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Katabami
(2014, 92). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(2014, 92) and Osuo (2005, 198).
1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is the place of
enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.
Katabami, Masaaki. 2014. Mō hitotsu no "Eien no Zero":
Tsukuba Kaigun Kōkūtai (Another "Eternal Zero": Tsukuba
Naval Air Group). Tōkyō: Village Books.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.