Heroic Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps (1983 cover)
(originally published as
Ah, Kamikaze Special
Attack Corps in 1970)
Last Letter of Ensign Hitoshi Kawai
At 1645 on April 6, 1945, Ensign Hitoshi Kawai took off from Kokubu No. 1 Air
Base as pilot in a Suisei Dive Bomber (Allied code name of Judy) carrying
a 500-kg bomb. He was a member of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 3rd Mitate
Squadron from the 601st Naval Air Group. He died in a special (suicide) attack
off Okinawa at the age of 22. He was from Hokkaidō Prefecture, attended Tōhoku
Gakuin University in Sendai City, and was a member of the 13th Class of the
Navy's Flight Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Gakusei).
He wrote the following final letter:
At long last I will accomplish my desire.
I have not even one regret.
I pray for everyone's health.
Final letter of
Ensign Hitoshi Kawai
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Kitagawa
(1970, 83). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1970, 83) and Osuo (2005, 228).
Kitagawa, Mamoru, ed. 1970. Ā kamikaze tokkōtai: Kaerazaru seishun no isho
shū (Ah, Kamikaze Special Attack Corps:
Collected last letters of youth that would not return). Tōkyō: Nihon Bungeisha.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.