Last image of Kamikaze Pilots Posing with a Puppy the Day before their Suicide Missions, 1945
The captain holding the puppy was only 17 years old.
Yukio Araki became the youngest kamikaze pilot during the Second World War when, at the age of seventeen, he took off from the Bansei Airfield, Kagoshima in a Tachikawa Ki-54 twin-engine training aircraft on 27 May 1945. His plane was one of two that struck the destroyer USS Braine (DD-630), killing 66 of its crew; however, the ship did not sink.
Araki had been home in April 1945, and left letters for his family, to be opened upon the news of his death. The letter to his parents noted: “Please find pleasure in your desire for my loyalty to the Emperor and devotion to parents. I have no regrets. I just go forward on my path”.