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Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps
(1971)

 
Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Hiroo Nobumoto to His Parents

At 0624 on May 11, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Hiroo Nobumoto took off from Miyazaki Air Base as radio operator/gunner in a Ginga bomber (Allied code name of Frances) with a crew of three. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 9th Ginga Squadron from the 406th Attack Hikōtai of the 762nd Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 20. He was from Hiroshima Prefecture and was a member of the 1st Toku Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

He wrote the following final letter:

Dear Father and Mother,

Have there been no changes lately? I received only kindness from you first and from everyone. Now I have not even begun to say anything in response to this to everyone. Without showing any filial piety to you, it seems I did not even think of you as my parents. However, now what I am thinking is that if I can complete the objective, this will be the greatest service to the country. Also, I am thinking that it will repay my parents and brothers and sisters [1] for their kindness to me.

The things that I am thinking now are busting out. The many thoughts in my heart certainly will be cleared away tomorrow morning. And with a feeling like the new spring, I will go following after everyone. Both of you understand that well, so please simply accept it. Please take care of yourselves and work hard until the end. Both Toki-chan and Kei-chan [2], you must listen well to what Father and Mother say, and do everything entirely. Since you are Japanese persons, you will not be ashamed wherever you go. Since you are Japanese persons, you must not become American and British. Follow after me to not be second to me. Please give my regards to everyone in the neighborhood.

Everyone, be well. There are only three hours remaining until the sortie. When three hours have passed, I will become a person in the other world. Please accept this. Please do not cry. Father, Mother, Toki-chan, Kei-chan, farewell.

12:30


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
August 2018

The letter comes from Matsugi (1971, 217-9). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Matsugi (1971, 217) and Osuo (2005, 237).

Notes

1. The Japanese wording does not specify the number of brothers and sisters, so there could have been one or more of each.

2. The suffix -chan is often added to children's names when calling them by their given names.

Sources Cited

Matsugi, Fujio, ed. 1971. Kaigun tokubetsu kōgekitai no isho (Last letters of Navy Special Attack Corps). Tōkyō: KK Bestsellers.

Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.