Last Letter of Second Lieutenant Yoshio Shimizu to His Older Brother
On April 16, 1945, Second Lieutenant Yoshio Shimizu took off from Chiran Air
Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 22. He
was a member of the 79th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an Army Type
98 Direct Cooperation Reconnaissance Aircraft (Allied code name of Ida). After
his death in a special attack, he received a promotion to Captain. He was from
Shiga Prefecture, attended Hikone Higher Commercial School, and was a member of
the 9th Class of the Army's Officer Cadet (Shikan Kōhosei) training program.
He wrote the following final letter:
Dear Older Brother,
The war situation is more and more severe. I trust that you are fighting
hard in high spirits. I am doing well thanks to you. I continue to advance
forward. Having been selected for the honorable OO 
Squadron, I am praying that I will make a hitchū hitchin (sure hit,
sure sinking) attack.
Today when I was advancing to another base, I passed
through the skies over our hometown and clearly was able to see on our
house's roof the flag that Father flies. Even now I see everyone's figures
before my eyes. From the skies I bid farewell also to our hometown where I was brought up from birth until now.
Now without any regrets I only pray for hitting the target.
I pray from the shadows for your success as you fight hard as long as
life endures. Before my eyes you appear just like your noble figure when I
said farewell at Yokohama.
Based on a belief in the absolute truth of Japan's indestructibility, I
will charge in straightaway and certainly hit the target.
Please have peace of mind. I wish you success, and now I will stop
However, your sincere spirit always is within me. When you are fighting
hard devoting yourself body and soul, I will not forget that you are always
Evening of April 5
At time of sleep before advancing tomorrow
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 112, 190) and Osuo (2005, 202).
1. OO indicates information that was a military
secret and could not be included in the letter.
Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (Chiran Special Attack
Memorial Society), ed. 2005. Konpaku no kiroku: Kyū rikugun tokubetsu
kōgekitai chiran kichi (Record of departed spirits: Former Army Special
Attack Corps Chiran Base). Revised edition, originally published in 2004. Chiran Town, Kagoshima
Prefecture: Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (rikugun hen)
(Record of special attack corps (Army)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.