To the end of the flowing clouds:
Writings of Navy reserve
who died in war (1952)
Last Letter of Lieutenant Junior Grade Hiroshi Nagao to His Parents
At 1523 on April 28, 1945, Lieutenant Junior Grade Hiroshi Nagao took off
from Kokubu No. 2 Air Base as pilot in a Type 99 Carrier Dive Bomber (Allied
code name of Val) carrying a 250-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack
off Okinawa at the age of 22. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack
Corps 3rd Kusanagi Squadron from Nagoya Naval Air Group. He was from Saga
Prefecture, attended Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka City, and was a member
of the 13th Class of the Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
He wrote the following final letter to his parents:
– I thank you for raising me for
the long time of 22 years since I received life.
– Please forgive my frequent lack of
– I was yours. I offered myself to
His Majesty the Emperor, and I am not yours. After I entered the Navy,
please be prepared for me to not be here.
– I have a good Father, a good
Mother, and two good Younger Sisters. I freely can face the decisive
battle in the skies.
– Father, acting for me, please
bring up Yoshiko and Toshiko.
– I earnestly pray for long life
– I pray for the health of you and my
Father, precious Father, Mother, precious Mother, thank you for your care
in many ways for a long time.
I sincerely ask that you take care of Yoshiko and Toshiko.
I will meet you in front of the main hall at Yasukuni Shrine .
So then, I am going. Take care of yourselves.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Hakuō Izokukai
(1952, 203-4). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1952, 203 and Osuo (2005, 226).
1. Yasukuni Shrine in Tōkyō is the place of
enshrinement for spirits of Japan's war dead.
Hakuō Izokukai (Hakuō Bereaved Families Association), ed.
1952. Kumo nagaruru hate ni: Senbotsu kaigun hikō yobi gakusei no shuki
(To the end of the flowing clouds: Writings of Navy reserve student who died
in war). Tōkyō: Nihon Shuppan Kyōdō.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.