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Last Letter of Corporal Genzō Takeda to His Grandmother

On May 28, 1945, Corporal Genzō Takeda took off from Bansei Air Base and died in a special (suicide) attack west of Okinawa at the age of 20. He was a member of the 432nd Shinbu Special Attack Squadron. He piloted an Army Type 2 Advanced Trainer. After his death in a special attack, he received a four-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. He grew up in Hokkaidō Prefecture and was in the 14th Class of the Army's Pilot Training School at Sendai.

He wrote the following final letter to his grandmother:

Dear Grandmother,

You took care of me for a long time. I warmly thank you for your extraordinary kindness.

Did you know that I visited about 1300 hours? I saw clearly the persons who went up to the roof and were waving red and white clothes. Grandmother, it surely must have been you who was waving from the second floor.

Finally it is the sortie. Certainly I will sink at once an enemy ship.

I am really saddened to depart from my squadron commander, who I truly thank strongly for his valuable encouragement. Missing my squadron commander as I lag behind even though I follow, I go after him as I earnestly live only for an eternal cause as a shield for the Emperor.

Please live long in good health with my portion.

Thank you for the various things that you have done for me.

Genzō Takeda

Everyone, I will pass overhead about 0500.

Letter translated by Bill Gordon
February 2018

The letter and biographical information on this page come from Chiran Tokkō Irei Kenshō Kai (2005, 140, 155) and Osuo (2005, 207).

Sources Cited

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.