Last letters, poems, and
writings of Navy Preparatory
Flight Trainees (1) (2004)
Last Letter of Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Naoyoshi Kameda
At 1120 on March 21, 1945, Flight Petty Officer 2nd Class Naoyoshi Kameda took off
from Kanoya Air Base as radio telegraph operator in a Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber (Allied code
name of Betty) carrying an ōka rocket-powered glider bomb. He was a
member in the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps) 1st Ōka Squadron. He died in a special (suicide) attack southeast of Kyūshū at the
age of 19. From 1420 to 1445, a group of about 50 American Grumman fighters
intercepted the 18 Betty bombers that had taken off from Kanoya and shot all of
them down before any ōka glider bomb could be released. He was from Tochigi
Prefecture and was a member of the 18th Otsu Class of the Navy's Yokaren
(Preparatory Flight Training Program).
He wrote the following final letter:
A person will die in several days.
At the time of death, the worth of the person will be brought forth.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter on this page comes from Kojima (2004, 46). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes Bungeishunjū
(2005, 568-9), Kojima (2004, 46), and Osuo (2005, 184).
Bungeishunjū, ed. 2005. Ningen bakudan to yobarete: Shōgen
- ōka tokkō (They were called human bombs: Testimony - ōka special attacks). Tōkyō: Bungeishunjū.
Kojima, Keizō, ed. 2004. Kaigun hikō yoka renshūsei isho
• iei • ikōshū (1) (Last letters, poems, and
writings of Navy Preparatory Flight Trainees (1)). Tōkyō: Unabarakai.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.