Global News

WWII veteran from Montana makes good on 73-year-old promise

WWII veteran from Montana makes good on 73-year-old promise

The younger brother of a fallen Japanese soldier has thanked a 93-year-old U.S. World War II veteran for returning his brother's flag and keeping it in good condition.

Strombo took the flag from Yasue's body as a souvenir, vowing to return it to his family someday.

A World War II Marine from Missoula fulfilled a promise he made to himself and to a Japanese soldier who died 73 years ago.

Strombo, who was 20 years old when he found the flag on Sadao Yasue, had promised the dead soldier he would return the flag to his family, but for years displayed it in a glass case inside his home, The Washington Post reported.

The Obon Society, a non-profit that helps return personal items taken from war, aided Strombo in returning the flag to the family of Shingo Yasue.

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Yasue's younger brother, now 89, and sister, 95, accepted the flag gratefully.

Yasue's body was never returned to his siblings and the flag is now the only trace of their brother back from the battlefield.

"I finally realized that if I didn't take it, somebody else would have and it would be lost forever", Strombo said in an interview provided by USA forces. They had never gotten his body or - until that moment - anything else of his.

Marvin tried to learn his identity years ago but language barriers made it hard until the Internet came along.

Yasue, the eldest of six children from a farming town in central Japan, followed a common practice of carrying into battle a Japanese flag covered with messages and the signatures of family and friends.


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