Last Letter of Ensign Cadet Mitsuo Uemura to His Father
Sometime between 1410 and 1438 on April 14, 1945, Ensign Cadet Mitsuo Uemura took off
from Kanoya Air Base as pilot in a Zero fighter carrying a 250-kg bomb
and died in a special (suicide) attack off Kerama Rettō at the age of 24. He was a member
of the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps 2nd Shinken Squadron from Ōmura
Naval Air Group. He was from Kanagawa Prefecture, attended Kantō Gakuin
University in Yokohama, and was a member of the 1st Class of the Navy's Flight
Reserve Students (Hikō Yobi Seito).
He wrote the following final letter:
Thank you for your care in many ways for the long period of my 24 years.
I feel very sorry that I have not shown to you anything like filial piety.
Please forgive my disrespect for not being able to do anything when Mother
However, recently I have obtained a place to die as a member of the
Kamikaze Special Attack Crops Shinken Squadron. I intend to do my best for
the family. Only "for the homeland." Without having life and death on my
mind, I only pray for the eternity of our homeland. I will go full of
energy. I will not cease to pray earnestly for your success.
Letter translated by Bill Gordon
The letter comes from Kitagawa
(1970, 165). The biographical information in the first paragraph comes from
(1970, 165) and Osuo (2005, 202).
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.