Last Letter of Second Lieutenant Shunzō Takashima
On June 6, 1945, Second Lieutenant Shunzō Takashima took off from Chiran Army
Air Base as 159th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron Leader and died in a special
attack west of Kerama Rettō at the age of 20. He piloted an Army Hien Type 3
Fighter (Allied code name of Tony). After his death in a special attack, he
received a special two rank promotion to Army Captain. He was from Okayama
Prefecture and was a member of the 57th Class of the Army Air Academy.
He wrote the following final letter:
Dear Parents and Everyone,
Everyone, excuse me for my hasty writing.
Now I will make a sortie as the OOO  Shinbu
Squadron Commander. I am going cheerfully in order to protect Japan .
Please forgive me for not showing much filial piety since I started
school in my youth, as you only pushed yourselves for me.
I feel that already I have abandoned my affairs, and please forgive my
lack of filial piety in going before you. I will display my real ability as
a rambunctious youth who, as often was said, ran riot to my heart's content
from my childhood.
Please take good care of your health and live long with my portion.
Give my regards to the kindergarten principal, Miki-sensei, and Harada
I am going.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The writing and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō
Kai (2005, 144, 200) and Osuo (2005, 206).
1. OOO indicates a number (i.e., 159th) not
included in the letter.
2. The word for Japan used here is Shinshū
(literally "divine land").
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.