PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) A U.S. Marine who served in the Pacific during World War II traveled to a remote Japanese village to return a flag he took from the body of a dead enemy soldier 73 years ago.
The Oregon-based Obon Society was able to identify the flag’s owner as Yasue Sadao and find his village through signatures left on the flag by relatives and neighbors.
Marvin Strombo is now 93 and said returning the flag to Yasue’s surviving siblings would help him heal.
Strombo on Thursday, August 10, boarded a flight from Portland to Japan, where he would travel to the village the following week.
The flags were a good-luck charm for Japanese soldiers, and they have deep significance because most families never learned how their loved ones died and never received remains.