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Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps
(1971)

 
Last Letter of Cadet Mikio Sugata to His Family

At 1151 on April 12, 1945, Cadet Mikio Sugata took off from Kushira Air Base as navigator/observer in a Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber (Allied code name of Kate) carrying a 800-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Gokō Shirasagi [1] Squadron from Himeji Naval Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack off Okinawa. He was born in 1925 in Iwate Prefecture, and he had been a student at Tōyō University in Tōkyō before entering the Navy.

He wrote the following final letter to his family:

At my sortie, I will write a short letter. At a time when the war situation has become more and more critical to the highest degree, I have been selected as a Special Attack Corps member. This is nothing that surpasses this as a young man's long-cherished desire. I only will push forward.

The other day I asked a comrade to send to you a little bit of money and a watch, so please accept them.

- I have no private concern.
- I have nothing with a woman.
- I have no borrowed item or money.

Mother, Older Brother, and Younger Sister, I only devote myself for the Empire. I am just overflowing with feelings to be a foundation for prosperity in the Empire. Mother, when you recover from your illness, take good care of your health.


Letter translated by Bill Gordon
April 2018

The letter comes from Matsugi (1971, 147-8). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Matsugi (1971, 147) and Osuo (2005, 221).

Note

1. The word Gokō means protecting the Empire. Shirasagi means white egret. Himeji Castle, which dates back to the 14th century, has the name of Shirasagi Castle.

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.