On April 13, 1945, Sergeant Tetsuo Noguchi took off from Bansei Air Base as a
member of the 74th Shinbu Special Attack Squadron and died in a special
(suicide) attack off Okinawa at the age of 20. He piloted a Type 99 Assault
Plane (Allied code name of Sonia). After his death in a special attack, he received a
three-rank promotion to Second Lieutenant. Noguchi was from Aichi Prefecture.
In September 1942, he graduated in the 10th Class of the Sendai Pilot Training
At place where volunteered for Special Attack Corps
At the time of the decisive battle, I offer myself to the Imperial Air
Force, and I will not spare my life in any way.
Serving the country with seven lives, I live for an eternal cause. With
this grand spirit, I offer myself in a way that will lead to death. Who will
be the owners of this fervent and noble way of His subjects who will guide
the country to victory other than young non-commissioned officers such as
Even though at times training is entrusted to me for basic battle
techniques for an attack unit, I do not do integration of training from
beginning to end. That being the case, with the noble spirit of more
experienced men, comrades, and fellow countrymen who bravely and fiercely
fought and made taiatari (body-crashing) attacks and became divine
spirits, I am a person whose blood and flesh well up. Now based on new fury,
my feeling has been converted to aggression. It is my only natural desire,
and I changed to a fighter aircraft unit. Without asking for life or death,
I will make myself as a bomb, and I will obliterate the enemy with one plane
for one ship. I will lose the only resources that I rely on. Regarding the
good news of joining the Special Attack Corps a while ago, I somehow
obtained this by viewing it without saying a word. With the unique fate that
heaven has given to me, there is nothing that surpasses this.
We certainly must win this war. We surely must believe that there will be
victory. In order to obtain this victory, I, who have been shown deep
affection by everyone beginning with you, within a few days will head
towards the place of the mission that I have been given. I will die before
you without repaying any of your kindness and without carrying out my duties
as a child for a long time (21 years ). Please forgive this misfortune.
However, on the occasion when we do this splendid work, let everyone in the
family smile and please praise these children. I very earnestly ask for only
Finally, I enclose two savings account passbooks as a small gift. I will
be honored above all else if everyone beginning with you please uses a little
of it as spending money. Also, I am sending the required seal. Since it is
inside a packing box, please accept it.
Although it is planned that my personal items (only various clothing)
eventually will be sent afterward together with a trunk, it may have been
requested for them to be entrusted to Manjirō Imai at 795-banchi, Senbiki
Village, Chiisagata-gun, Gifu Prefecture. He is the parent of a student of
mine in the Youth Pilot training program. Please handle this matter. This
Youth Pilot Heichō (Leading Soldier) also had a relationship with me as
teacher and student, and we will head together to the place of our new
mission. I pray for your health.
Finally I will realize my desire that I had for many years. The day has
come when I will repay the country by risking my life.
When I think about it, there is death at a young age, there is death at maturity,
and there is unexpected death. These vicissitudes are a feature of life.
That being said, in spite of this I will live with pure loyalty. While
praying for the country's prosperity and peace in the Orient, now together
with my plane I go toward an enemy aircraft carrier to fall as a flower.
Living is being a loyal follower, and dying is becoming a spirit to
protect the country. If for the Emperor, I just go calmly to my place of
Not wanting to return alive seven times, I only offer this body as needed
as a patriot devoted to the country's salvation. I only live for an eternal
Father, I am going out. As for my plane that will explode loudly, will
you not be waiting for me smiling? Ah, I am filled with deep emotion.
Finally, because of your old age, please be careful about your health. I
pray that you will be able to keep your long life. Give my regards to
Finally the sortie order has come. How happy I am. Now there is no more
for me to say.
I just will give my one life for the Emperor. This will be my farewell to
all of you. Please do your very best together until the day we win. I
will go to Okinawa as a Shinbu Squadron member. I pray for your
The letters and biographical information on this page come from Naemura
(1993, 120-2, 474).