Flying Petty Officer First Class Isao Matsuo

The following letter is by Flying Petty Officer First Class Isao Matsuo of the 70lst Air Group. It was written just before he sortied for a kamikaze attack. His home was in Nagasaki Prefecture .

28 October 1944


Dear Parents :

  Please congratulate me. I have been given a splendid opportunity to die. This is my last day. The destiny of our homeland hinges on the decisive battle in the seas to the south where I shall fall like a blossom from a radiant cherry tree.
I shall be a shield for His Majesty and die cleanly along with my squadron leader and other friends. I wish that I could be born seven times, each time to smite the enemy.
How I appreciate this chance to die like a man! I am grateful from the depths of my heart to the parents who have reared me with their constant prayers and tender love. And I am grateful as well to my squadron leader and superior officers who have looked after me as if I were their own son and given me such careful training.
Thank you, my parents, for the 23 years during which you have cared for me and inspired me. I hope that my present deed will in some small way repay what you have done for me. Think well of me and know that your Isao died for our country. This is my last wish, and there is nothing else that I desire.
  I shall return in spirit and look forward to your visit at the Yasukuni Shrine. Please take good care of yourselves.
  How glorious is the Special Attack Corps' Giretsu Unit whose Suisei bombers will attack the enemy. Our goal is to dive against the aircraft carriers of the enemy. Movie cameramen have been i here to take our pictures. It is possible that you may see us in newsreels at the theater.
We are I 6 warriors manning the bombers. May our death be as sudden and clean as the shattering of crystal.

  Written at Manila on the eve of our sortie.

Isao

Soaring into the sky of the southern seas, it is our glorious mission to die as the shields of His Majesty. Cherry blossoms glisten as they open and fall.