Friday, February 21, 2014

Fullbore Friday

OK, he fought for the enemy - but that is fine.

I vaguely remember his story, and to read it again makes be think about honor, oaths, orders, and more than anything else; patience.

In a day when most modern men would not survive a month on their own in any environment - from both a human and military professional's perspective, you have to be in a bit of awe of 2LT Hiroo Onoda, Imperial Japanese Army;
A Japanese soldier who refused to surrender after World War Two ended and spent 29 years in the jungle has died aged 91 in Tokyo.

Hiroo Onoda remained in the jungle on Lubang Island near Luzon, in the Philippines, until 1974 because he did not believe that the war had ended.

He was finally persuaded to emerge after his ageing former commanding officer was flown in to see him.

Correspondents say he was greeted as a hero on his return to Japan.

As WW2 neared its end, Mr Onoda, then a lieutenant, became cut off on Lubang as US troops came north.

The young soldier had orders not to surrender - a command he obeyed for nearly three decades.

"Every Japanese soldier was prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die," he told ABC in an interview in 2010.

"I became an officer and I received an order. If I could not carry it out, I would feel shame. I am very competitive," he added.
While on Lubang Island, Mr Onoda surveyed military facilities and engaged in sporadic clashes with local residents.
Finally in March 1974 his former commanding officer travelled to the Philippines to rescind his original orders in person.

Mr Onoda saluted the Japanese flag and handed over his Samurai sword while still wearing a tattered army uniform.

The Philippine government granted him a pardon, although many in Lubang never forgave him for the 30 people he killed during his campaign on the island, the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports from Tokyo.
For his culture and time - you can't fault him.

91 years.

Wikipedia has a nice entry for him - worth a read.

Hat tip Stuart.

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