Corporal Yukio Araki, holding a puppy, with four other pilots of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron at Bansei, Kagoshima on 26 May 1945. Araki died the following day, at the age of 17, in a suicide attack on ships near Okinawa.
Yukio Araki died at the age of 17 in a suicide attack on American ships near Okinawa on May 27,1945. A very famous photo shows Araki holding a puppy with four other young men of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron around him. An Asahi Shimbun cameraman took this photo on the day before the departure of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron from Bansei Air Base.
Araki wrote the following letter to his family just before his sortie:
I am writing my last letter. I trust you have been doing well recently.
I am leaving today (May 27) on a glorious mission. I will surely achieve great success in battle. I will be waiting for the day we meet at Kudan with the cherry trees blooming.
Please take care of yourselves. Please give my regards to my younger brothers and to everyone in the neighbor association.