Last letters, poems, and
writings of Navy Preparatory
Flight Trainees (2) (2006)
Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Kaname Takeo to His Parents
On October 27, 1944, Flight Petty Officer 1st Class Kaname Takeo took off
from Nichols No. 1 Airfield in the Philippines as observer in a Suisei
Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Judy) loaded with a 500-kg bomb. He was a
member of the 2nd Kamikaze Special Attack Unit Chūyū Squadron from the 701st
Naval Air Group. His squadron searched for enemy ships east of Lamon Bay, but
after not finding any he died in a special (suicide) attack in Leyte Gulf at the
age of 20. He was from Ōita Prefecture and was a member of the 16th Otsu Class of the
Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).
He wrote the following final letter:
Dear Father and Mother,
The time has come for me to do my final service as a member of the
honored Attack Corps.
In the 20 years since I was born into this world, I was not able to show
any filial piety to you. This is my first and last act of filial piety.
I will not stop praying from my heart that the day of happiness for the
one billion people in Greater East Asia will come quickly.
At the occasion of the sortie to attack, I pray silently for the good
health for my Parents first and my brothers and sisters .
October 27, 1944
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai
(2006, 11). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
Osuo (2005, 159) and Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai
1. The letter does not specify the number of
brothers and sisters. There could have been one or more of each.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.
Unabarakai Henshū Iinkai (Unabarakai Editing
Committee). 2006. Kaigun hikō yoka renshūsei
isho • iei • ikōshū (2) (Last letters, poems,
and writings of Navy Preparatory Flight Trainees (2)). Tōkyō: