Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps (1971)
Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Kazuo Osaka to His Father
At 1600 on January 9, 1945, Flight Chief Petty Officer Kazuo Osaka took off
from Tuguegarao Airfield in the Philippines in a Zero fighter and died at
Lingayen Gulf at the age of 19. He was a member
of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 26th Kongō Squadron. He was an escort
for Zero fighters carrying 250-kg bombs with a mission to crash into an enemy
ship. He grew up in Ōita
Prefecture and was a member of the 10th Kō Class of the Navy's Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program). Afterward, he became a
member of the 221st Naval Air Group.
He wrote the following final letter:
Is everyone doing well? I am in high spirits and working diligently at my
military tasks. Please rest assured. I apologize to not write a letter for a
long time. Being somewhat popular, I am a poor correspondent. I am sending
to you unneeded items to deal with the things around me. Although I have
gone to the front line, they have become a burden, and also there are only
useless things, so please store them although it is a bother.
Thank you for taking care of me for a long time. Although I die, I will
not forget the kindness of my parents and grandparents. Please forgive me
for my frequent lack of filial piety. I regret that I did not do even the
things as a child I should have done. However, I also am a crewmember of a
Navy fighter aircraft. I will not do anything to bring disgrace on my
hometown. I will show you that certainly I will die honorably.
Concerning Yoshinori's future, please decide based on much discussion
between you and Mother. Since there are also hopes of the school teachers,
please consider fully their points. Give my regards to Grandfather and
Grandmother. Send my regards to the Village Mayor, Principal, and the
villagers. I have no regrets. Send my regards to Nakamura in Ōita.
I have no money loans. I have no connection with a woman. There were
times when I drank alcohol and went on quite a rampage, but there is nothing
concerning a woman and no regret in my heart. Do not worry.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Matsugi
(1971, 132-3). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1971, 132) and Osuo (2005, 172).
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.