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Kiyoshi Kondo

 

Date and Place of Birth: Unknown
Date and Place of Death:    April 28, 1945 Okinawa
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Catcher
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: Imperial Japanese Navy
Area Served: Pacific

Kiyoshi Kondo attended Waseda University where he played varsity baseball. Kondo’s high school team had won the Summer Koshien Tournament and he was a key player for Waseda in the Big 6 League, handling star pitcher Eizo Matsui.

Waseda’s biggest baseball rival was Keio University and as the war progressed, one last game between the two teams was arranged. Held on October 16, 1943, at the Totsuka Stadium of Waseda University, this was a send-off game held immediately before the mobilization of many students into military service. Kondo played leftfield in that game and contributed two hits to Waseda’s 10-1 win.

On May 28, 1944, Kondo’s batterymate, Matsui, was killed in action in China. "After putting my full effort into my remaining year at university,” pledged Kondo, “I will seek revenge for the death of my dear friend."

Kondo joined the Japanese Imperial Navy in December 1943. On April 28, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, he embarked on a suicide mission from the Kokubu No. 2 Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. He left behind the following message to his older sister, who had been paying for his tuition at Waseda University: "I am truly grateful for how well you have taken care of me for such a long time. I am in good spirits as I depart for my mission."

Sources:
www.yomiuri.co.jp/adv/wol/dy/culture/081217.htm
www.yomiuri.co.jp/adv/wol/dy/culture/110323.htm

Date Added: May 11, 2013

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