Sixty years later, veterans of the Pacific War remember: 'Kill or be killed.'
Most kamikazes looked forward to their fate. Toshiharu Konada, at the age of 82 a distinguished gray-haired man, recalls his feelings from long ago in an interview with NEWSWEEK. Konada was to be an underwater kamikaze, trained to ride and steer a torpedo with 3,000 pounds of explosives into the side of an American ship. The human torpedoes were called kaiten—literally, "turning of the heavens"—built to save a nation at the edge of ruin. When Konada was given his orders to die in March 1945, "it was the happiest day of my life," he recalls. "Excitement filled from the bottom of my spine through my head. I was not afraid of dying at all. I thought my life could save many other people from dying." He was spared when the Americans dropped two atom bombs, ending the worst war in the history of mankind, on Aug. 15, 1945, 60 years ago.
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