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Holdouts and Additional Surrenders

Australian Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey accepts surrender on Morotai Island, Dutch East Indies

The logical demands of the surrender were formidable. So many different ceremonies took place across Asia and the entire Pacific. Here we will some that preceded peacefully and others that refused the peace. In actuality, the state of war between the U.S. and Japan did not officially end until the Treaty of San Francisco took effect 28 April, 1952.

USS Segundo SS-398 located this Japanese sub 1-401 and negotiated with the crew being that their captain had committed suicide

One mass surrender did occur at Noemfoor in September 1944 when 265 Japanese enlisted men, angry at their superiors for stealing their food for their own use. And, in August 1945, another starving Japanese military unit surrendered to a lieutenant in New Guinea. On 1 December 1945, Captain Oba and 46 members of his unit were the last Japanese on Guam to surrender.

In 1946, on Lubang Island, Philippines, intense fighting developed on 22 February when American and Filipino troops met 30 Japanese soldiers. Eight of the Allied troops were killed. Then in April, 41 members of a Japanese garrison came out of the jungle, unaware that the war was over.

Australian 6th Div. MGen. Robertson and interpreter explain terms of surrender to Adm. Sata aboard ML-805 (patrol boat) in Kairiru Strait

At the end of March 1947, a band of Japanese led by Ei Yamaguchi of 33 men renewed the fighting on Peleliu Island. There were only 150 Marines stationed on the island by that time and reinforcements were called in to assist. A Japanese Admiral also went to convince the troops that the war was indeed over. The holdouts came out of the jungle in two different groups in late April. Yamaguchi returned to his old tunnel in 1994 and Eric Mailander and Col. Joe Alexander interviewed him. To see the interview go to – http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/visitors/mailander/

Ei Yamaguchi re-entering his old tunnel

In that same month, on Palawan Island, 7 Japanese troops armed with a mortar launcher emerged from the jungle and surrendered. On 27 October 1947, the last Japanese soldier surrendered carrying a water bottle, a broken Australian bayonet and a Japanese entrenching tool.

Not until late 1948, did 200 well organized troops give themselves up on Mindinoa, P.I. And, in China, 10-20,000 well equipped Japanese troops who were trapped in the mountains of Manchuria between the warring Nationalist and Communist forces, finally found a chance to surrender.  In 1949, there was one report of two men living in the shadow of American troops finally turning themselves in.

Japanese weapons collected on Cebu, P.I.

One unusual story – On 3 January 1945, a B-29 Superfortress from the 498th Bomb Group, 875th Squadron, crashed while returning from a bombing mission. On 30 June 1951, men were sent to the area to try and recover the bodies of the plane’s crew. What they encountered were 30 Japanese who did not believe the war was over. They had had a Korean woman with them, but after she spotted an American vessel sailing by and was rescued, the information was received and interest in the “Robinson Crusoes of Anatahan Island” developed.

Kaida Tatsuichi, 4th Tank Regiment & Shoji Minoru on HMAS Moresby at Timor

Teruo Nakamura was the last known holdout of WWII when he emerged from the jungle retreat that housed him in Indonesia, December 1974. There were rumors of men claiming to be holdouts later on, but none that were officially confirmed.

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Military Humor – 

“IT SAYS,’I AM AN AMERICAN WITH 94 POINTS AND IF I’M LOST IN ENEMY TERRITORY, PLEASE GET ME HOME'”

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Farewell Salutes –

Mary Amonette (102) – Roslyn, NY; Civilian, Grumman fighter plane construction / WAF WASPS, pilot

Juan M. Borjon – Tucson, AZ; 11th Airborne Division

Douglas Cummings – Euless, TX; US Army, Vietnam, 82nd Airborne Division

Daniel De Anda – USA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co G/2/23/2/8th Army, KWC (POW Camp # 5, NK)

James J. Deeds – USA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., B-24 pilot, 345 BS/98 BG/9th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

David M. Findlay – Kitchner, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO, Scots Fusiliers

Thomas F. Gaffney – Honolulu, HI; US Army, Korea, Vietnam & Lebanon, Capt. (Ret. 24 y.), 101st Airborne Commander, Bronze Star, 3-Silver Stars

Mabel Hlebakoa (103) – Petaluma, CA; Civilian, WWII, Hamilton Air Force Base

Melvin B. Meyer – Pattonville, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., 569BS/390BG/13BW/8th Air Force, B-17G bombardier, KIA (Leipzig, GER)

George J. Reuter – USA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., B-24 navigator, 328BS/93BG/8th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

Mark P. Wilson – Elizabethton, TN; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pfc., Co A/1/112/28th Infantry Division, KIA (Kommerscheidt, GER)

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