Last Letter of Second Lieutenant Yasaburō Nagamine to His Mother
On April 13, 1945, Second Lieutenant Yasaburō Nagamine took off from Bansei
Air Base as 104th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron Leader and died in a special
(suicide) attack at the age of 22. He piloted a Type 99 Assault Plane (Allied
code name of Sonia).
After his death in a special attack, he received a two-rank promotion to
He was from Tōkyō Prefecture, graduated from Meiji University in Tōkyō, and
in 1943 become a member of the 1st Class of the Army Special Cadet Pilot
Training Program at Utsunomiya Flight School, where he later became an assistant
instructor. In 1944, he transferred to Manchuria and became a Second Lieutenant.
He wrote the following final letter to his mother:
My comrade Second Lieutenant Watanabe, who I have known since Jinzhou (in
Manchuria), accompanied other pilots and made a sortie this morning .
Tomorrow I along with my men will go. By evening we certainly will
achieve military results.
Among the enclosed photographs, I will take one of you Mother and another
when I entered the Army.
Mother, whatever happens to you, please take care of yourself.
Shinbu Unit 3rd Gōma  Squadron
Army Second Lieutenant Yasaburō Nagamine
Evening of April 12, 1945
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Naemura (1993,
1. Second Lieutenant Watanabe, also a member of the 104th Shinbu Special
Attack Squadron, took off with four other squadron pilots from Bansei Air Base on April
12, 1945, the day before Nagamine's sortie (Osuo 2005, 203).
2. Gōma means "conquering the devil."
Naemura, Hichirō. 1993. Rikugun saigo no tokkō kichi: Bansei tokkōtaiin no isho to isatsu (Army's last special attack base: Last
letters and photographs of Bansei special attack corps members). Ōsaka: Tōhō
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.