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Last Letters of Navy
Special Attack Corps

Last Letters of Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Tsuyoshi Takase to His Mother and Younger Sisters

At 1442 on April 29, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Tsuyoshi Takase took off from Kanoya Air Base in a Zero fighter carrying a 500-kg bomb and died in a special (suicide) attack east of Okinawa at the age of 19. He was a member of the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps) 9th Kenmu Squadron. He was from Hokkaidō Prefecture and was a member of the 12th Hei Class of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program). Afterward, he became a member of the 721st Naval Air Group.

He wrote the following final letters separately to his mother and younger sisters:

Dear Mother,

Finally I will make a sortie. I have no regrets, but I am sorry that I will go without repaying the kindness of my kind and beloved Mother. Only please praise me that I am giving my life for the Empire.

Mother, even though I die, still my spirit will stay and will serve the Empire. Do not mourn. I am happy to be able to participate in this daring undertaking. It is the long-cherished desire of a military man.

Mother, please live happily for a long, long time.

Holding to my chest a photograph of you, I am absolutely determined to die honorably.

On day of sortie


Dear Younger Sisters,

Now having a place to die, I will go bravely as the long-cherished desire of a military man. I surely will die in an honorable way.

Younger Sisters, even though I will die, do not mourn. Even though five bodies die, my spirit always will be living at your side for an eternal cause. Without grieving, please do your best for the country.

Younger Sisters, you will become younger sisters of an Imperial Sea Eagle. Do not be ashamed of my way of dying. Do your best in anything. I relied on Father and Mother. The last words that I leave with you are only that you show filial piety to Father and Mother and show loyalty to the Emperor.

Younger Sisters, I ask that you do this. I bravely will go and die. Younger Sisters, please take care of yourselves and live happily for a long, long time. I will go thinking of your images.

On day of sortie


Letters translated by Bill Gordon
March 2018

The letters come from Matsugi (1971, 109-10). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from Matsugi (1971, 109) and Osuo (2005, 196).

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.