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Japanese Soldier Who Didn’t Surrender Until 1974

Hiro Onoda was a intelligence officer in the Imperial Japanese Army. He was trained at the Nakano School as an intelligence officer and gerilla warfare soldier. Onoda was sent to Lubang Island, Philiphines in 1944. Major Yoshimi Taniguchi had give orders to fight no matter what happens in this island.

Hiro Onoda during war time.

Escaping to inlands

U.S conquer the island in February, 1945. Once the U.S forces were on island, they split to groups of 3-4 men while escaping the inlands of the island. Only survivors on the island is just Hiro Onoda and three others under his command.

After war had officaly ended in August 15th, a leaflet was droped by locals, but they thought it was a propaganda trick made by Allies, so they continued to raid locals, attacking the enemy which no longer existed. After that, leaflets were dropped from plane with surrender orders.

In 1949, one of his soldiers, Yuichi Akatsu escaped from the group and surrended to Philiphine soldiers in 1950.

In 1952, they dropped leaflets again from plane but this time, there were pictures of their families. But again, they thought it was a trick. In fact, this events increased their paranoia.

They were shooting locals because they were in civilian clothing which led them to believe they were disguised soldiers of Allies.

In 1953, Shoichi Shimada was shot in the leg but recovered with the help of Onoda. But he was killed on May 7th, 1954 when he fired on his rescuers.

On October 19th, 1972 Kozuka was shot and killed by the police when he was burning a farmers rice collection. Onoda was now alone.

Finally surrendering

On February 20th, 1974 a japanese man called Norio Suzuki found Onoda. He still refuse to surrender. But in March 1974, his former commanding officer, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi give order to surrender in face to face.

But when he see the post-war Japan, he go to the Brazil to raise cattle and open a series of training schools. He later told that he think it was a shame to surrender because of the order that was gived to him.

Picture sources: Wikipedia, New York Times

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