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Last letters of youth: Writings
of "Yokaren" war dead
(1968)

 
Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Fukushirō Shinozaki to His Parents

At 1220 on December 7, 1944, Flight Chief Petty Officer Fukushirō Shinozaki took off from Mabalacat Air Base in the Philippines as gunner/radio operator in a Suisei dive bomber (Allied code name of Judy) carrying a 500-kg bomb. He died in a special (suicide) attack at Ormoc Bay, an extension of the Camotes Sea, at the age of 19. He was a member of the 3rd Kamikaze Special Attack Unit Chihaya Squadron. He was from Ibaraki Prefecture and was a member of the 16th Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).

Shinozaki wrote the following final letter:

Dear Parents,

Now I received an order that is a man's highest honor. For some time I have been prepared for today. I go gladly. There are no regrets. I certainly will go and die honorably.

Finally, I pray for everyone's health.

November 26, 1944


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
May 2018

The letter comes from Mainichi Shinbunsha (1968, 76). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Mainichi Shinbunsha (1968, 76) and Osuo (2005, 165).

Sources Cited

Mainichi Shinbunsha, ed. 1968. Seishun on isho: "Yokaren" senbotsusha no shuki (Last letters of youth: Writings of "Yokaren" war dead). Tōkyō: Mainichi Shinbunsha.

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