Last letters of youth: Writings
of "Yokaren" war dead (1968)
Last Letter of Flight Chief Petty Officer Fukushirō Shinozaki to His Parents
At 1220 on December 7, 1944, Flight Chief Petty Officer Fukushirō Shinozaki
took off from Mabalacat Air Base in the Philippines as gunner/radio operator in
a Suisei dive bomber (Allied code name of Judy) carrying a 500-kg bomb. He died
in a special (suicide) attack at Ormoc Bay, an extension of the Camotes Sea, at
the age of 19. He was a member of the 3rd Kamikaze Special Attack Unit Chihaya
Squadron. He was from Ibaraki Prefecture and was a member of the 16th Otsu Class
of the Navy's Yokaren (Preparatory Flight Training Program).
Shinozaki wrote the following final letter:
Now I received an order that is a man's highest honor. For some time I
have been prepared for today. I go gladly. There are no regrets. I certainly
will go and die honorably.
Finally, I pray for everyone's health.
November 26, 1944
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Mainichi Shinbunsha
(1968, 76). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1968, 76) and Osuo (2005, 165).
Mainichi Shinbunsha, ed. 1968. Seishun no isho: "Yokaren"
senbotsusha no shuki (Last letters of youth: Writings of "Yokaren" war
dead). Tōkyō: Mainichi Shinbunsha.
Osuo, Kazuhiko. 2005. Tokubetsu kōgekitai no kiroku (kaigun
hen) (Record of special attack corps (Navy)). Tōkyō: Kōjinsha.