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Yukio Araki file photo [22368]

Yukio Araki

Given NameYukio
Born10 Mar 1928
Died27 May 1945


ww2dbaseYukio Araki was from Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. At the age of 15, he joined the Japanese Army's Youth Pilot Training Program after being rejected into the Navy flight training school. In Sep 1943, he began basic training at Tachiarai Air Base in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Metabaru Airfield in Saga Prefecture, Japan for flight training. In May 1944, he was assigned to Heijo (now Pyongyang), Korea to join a training squadron flying Ki-51 aircraft (Japanese Army Type 99 Assault Planes). Around Feb 1945, his entire squadron volunteer to make special attacks. In late Mar 1945, the squadron flew to Kakamigahara Airfield in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, where their Ki-51 aircraft were converted into suicide planes. While they waited for the conversion to be complete, their squadron was redesignated 72nd Shinbu Squadron. Meanwhile, Araki took a train to Gunma Prefecture to visit his family one final time (although his older brother Seiichi Araki would see him one more time when he visited Araki at Kakamigahara Airfield a few days later). Upon completion of the aircraft conversion, Araki and the squadron returned to Korea to await orders. After a combat mission over China in Apr 1945, the squadron was ordered to relocate to Japan in the following month. On 27 May 1945, at the age of 17, Araki took off from Bansei Airfield, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan in his Ki-51 aircraft, never to return. His Ki-51 aircraft might had been one of the two which had struck USS Braine off Okinawa, Japan, killing 66 but failing to sink the destroyer.

ww2dbaseWhen Araki was home in Apr 1945, he left letters for his family, to be opened upon the news of his death. The letter to his parents noted:

ww2dbasePlease find pleasure in your desire for my loyalty to the emperor and devotion to parents.

ww2dbaseI have no regrets. I just go forward on my path.

ww2dbaseSource: kamikazeimages.net

Last Major Revision: Jan 2015

Yukio Araki Interactive Map

Yukio Araki Timeline

10 Mar 1928 Yukio Araki was born in Miyamae, Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
5 Apr 1945 Yukio Araki visited his home in Gunma Prefecture, Japan for the last time.
21 Apr 1945 Yukio Araki engaged American P-51 fighters over China.
5 May 1945 Yukio Araki along with the rest of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron was ordered to relocate from the current base at Heijo (now Pyongyang), Korea to Metabaru Airfield in Saga Prefecture, Japan.
17 May 1945 Yukio Araki and the 72nd Shinbu Squadron arrived at Metabaru Airfield in Saga Prefecture, Japan.
25 May 1945 Yukio Araki and the 72nd Shinbu Squadron was relocated to Bansei Airfield, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.
27 May 1945 Corporal Yukio Araki died as a special attack pilot. His Ki-51 aircraft might be one of the two aircraft which crashed into destroyer USS Braine off Okinawa, Japan.


Portrait of Yukio Araki, 1940sCorporal Yukio Araki (with puppy) with fellow pilots of Japanese Army 72nd Shinbu Squadron, Bansei Airfield, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, 26 May 1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. June says:
15 Feb 2015 09:22:46 PM

Sad tale, may he be missed.
2. QueenAnne says:
30 May 2016 11:25:17 PM

So sad...;-( i cried a lot.. He was so young for that suicidal mission..
3. AXX says:
4 Mar 2021 05:58:05 AM

I think, to say the birth of this person, and concerning the age he was at his death in 1945, (he was 17), I am assuming that he was born in 1927-1928. I hope this was useful.
4. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
4 Mar 2021 01:33:49 PM

Thank you AXX for pointing out that we neglected to enter his birth date. This has been corrected. Yukio Araki was indeed born in 1928.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

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» Okinawa Campaign

Yukio Araki Photo Gallery
Portrait of Yukio Araki, 1940sCorporal Yukio Araki (with puppy) with fellow pilots of Japanese Army 72nd Shinbu Squadron, Bansei Airfield, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, 26 May 1945

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