Japanese WWII Soldier Who Hid in Jungle 29 Years Dies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Jan 17, 2014.


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  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    For Hiroo Onoda, war ended in 1974

    965155-6-20140117020329. (Newser) – Former Japanese Imperial Army soldier Hiroo Onoda has died at the age of 91—roughly 40 years after he stopped fighting World War II. Onoda, the last Japanese soldier to surrender, hid out in the jungles of the Philippines for almost 30 years after 1945, only coming out of hiding in 1974. The straggler formally surrendered—still wearing his uniform—to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos after his former commander flew out to rescind his 1945 order that Onoda stay there and spy on American forces, the AP reports. The New York Times reports that Onoda was with three comrades on Lubang Island when the war ended; believing leaflets attesting to the war's end to be Allied propaganda, they lived off bananas, coconuts, stolen rice, and cows they killed, and constructed bamboo huts.

    One of the men surrendered five years later; the others were shot and killed by police, the last just two years before Onoda emerged. The Guardian reports that he "wept uncontrollably" when he eventually gave up his rifle—still "perfectly serviceable" after all those years, and one he may have used to kill as many as 30 locals that he mistook for enemies. A Japanese government spokesman praised Onoda for his unbreakable spirit: "After World War II, Mr. Onoda lived in the jungle for many years and when he returned to Japan, I felt that finally, the war was finished. That's how I felt." After the war finally ended for him, Onoda bought a ranch in Brazil before returning to Japan to run a children's nature school. "I don't consider those 30 years a waste of time," he said in a 1995 interview. "Without that experience, I wouldn't have my life today."

    Japanese WWII Soldier Who Hid in Jungle 29 Years Dies - For Hiroo Onoda, war ended in 1974
     
  2. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    That's dedication for you. I can only hope for a fraction of his fortitude.
     
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  3. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Am on the other side of the coin about him. Any sensible person knew that the war was over. Thinking that he was just a die hard, emperorer worshiping, nut case. No way he could have thought the war was still ongoing.
     
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  4. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Possible he just liked the lifestyle. Here in the states more than a few living it. Without killing the locals............for the most part.
     
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  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yea, Killing locals is a very good way to get the local Sheriff, out looking for you......
     
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  6. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    And with a large posse.
     
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  7. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    The man epitomised the warrior spirit and the code of Bushido, he was a soldier's soldier who held out to the very end and would have stayed out unless he was ordered to stand down and for this I respect him.

    There were a couple of holdouts left on Guam when I served back in the 70's.
    Occasionally they'd take a few shots at us on the road up to Anderson AFB.
     
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  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I just listened to a podcast by Dan Carlin that talked about Hiroo Onoda. His story is incredible.
    Meet The Japanese Soldier Who Kept Fighting World War II – Until 1974

    Only his commanding officer could get Onoda to surrender.
     
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  9. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    Gotta admit, the guy had balls! A true soldier with that never give up attitude. We need more like him here.
     
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  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    So, he murdered thirty local civilians, and got a pass?
     
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  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Should have been shot on the spot!
     
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  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    If the victims were unarmed civilians then he ought to have been tried for murder...or at the very least, manslauğhter. It would not be a warcrime as such for those offences committed after the Japanese surrender...but killing contrary to the laws of armed conflict is punishable.
     
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  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    But he had not been told by his commander that the war was over. He was following orders, committed to fighting the enemy. The locals left him newspapers and such but he believed it was false news. He was raised death before surrender.
     
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  14. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    It is so funny to see the extreme opposite reactions to this, even if some are in jest (and I'm not assuming any are).
     
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  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The following of orders was no defence at Nuremburg, and killing contrary to the laws of armed conflict is punishable if he was under military discipline which he was not after the Japanese surrendered in August 1945. At law, he would be subject to the Philipines criminal code for any offences committed by him and his colleagues. There are possibly some defences that he could have raised, but if the civilian killings were not in self defence...then murder or manslaughter or some lesser criminal assault charges would be appropriate in the case of woundings not causing death.

    Fanatical following of orders is no defence against the committing of crimes, whether at war or in peace.

    Yes...and I'm the one frequently accused of being a 'liberal'.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2018
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  16. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    In just about every military,killing non-combatant carry's the death penalty.
    So, ya, shudda got it in the neck.
     
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  17. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready! Site Supporter++

    Agreed. Just because he was trained to kill and loot from civilians doesn't mean he should have got off free.

    That's what the Japs get for losing.
     
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  18. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    An issue that could mitigate any prosecution would be after the US retook the Phillipines, almost everyone was a combatant, in rooting out the Japanese, still on the Islands...
     
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  19. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    If that is the legally sanctioned penalty after due process, in accordance with the law.
     
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  20. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Holy thread resurrection, manbat? And who are we to assess the thinking of a Japanese soldier that was indoctrinated in the fashion then in vogue in the Japanese military? "BANZAI !!"

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda, but didn't.
     
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