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Old 07-05-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
Scurvy
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Default Looking For a WWII Japanese Soldier

My dad is a WWII veteran, who served with the 5th AAF. After the Japanese signed the Declaration of Surrender, my dad's unit was transferred to Tachikawa, Japan.

He was assigned six former Japanese soldiers to work for him. Only one of them stayed with him and they became good friends.

Dad is now almost 85 years old and (not being internet-savvy) asked me to try to find his long-lost buddy. Wow...what a task. He doesn't know the guy's name, but I have some slightly promising information about him.

First, he served during Japan's invasion of China and somehow lost a finger. OK, not such a great piece of information... But, I have a photograph of him and my dad standing side-by-side.

Also, he would invite my dad to have lunch at his mother's house, only a few hundred yards from where my dad bunked, in an old aircraft hanger, in Tachikawa. Of course, my dad agreed and said she made the best food he'd ever eaten.

Now, what I *think* I need to do is find a Japanese forum or some website that I can post that picture and hope that someone will be able to tell me who the guy is or direct me to a family member, who might recognize him.

I've also spoken to the gentleman that runs pacificwrecks.org that I should try to contact a newspaper in Tachikawa and have them run a story. I've tried to look up a contact for a Tachikawan newspaper, but haven't any luck.

Any suggestions?

I've already called the Japanese Embassy, in Washington and nobody was willing to help me.

I also emailed James Bradley (author of Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys and his secretary said he was too busy working on another book to help me.

It'd be a real treat for a WWII vet to receive a call from his old friend in Japan (or a relative, for that matter).

The photograph can be viewed at my photobucket link, here--> http://s170.photobucket.com/albums/u...rrent=dad2.jpg
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
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Try the "Japan Times", the English language daily newspaper in Japan. They'd probably love to help out in a great human interest story for them.

Also, you could also try the national TV broadcaster, NHK.
If either of them ran with it your dad would have a good chance of finding the guy if he was still alive.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:09 PM   #3
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i wish you nothing but the best of luck
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenandthejets View Post
Try the "Japan Times", the English language daily newspaper in Japan. They'd probably love to help out in a great human interest story for them.

Also, you could also try the national TV broadcaster, NHK.
If either of them ran with it your dad would have a good chance of finding the guy if he was still alive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickolas View Post
i wish you nothing but the best of luck
Thank you so much! After so much time waiting, I finally received an email from Japan Times:

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your kind note!

I was born and raised in Japan and had a girlfriend at Tachikawa and spent many a happy day at the pool, at the Theater or just hanging out.

It was probably the most beautiful base in Japan with the loveliest small homes set in the middle of the woods.

We would be happy to help you - in fact I am currently writing a book entitled `Thank You America` getting together all the wonderful stories I grew up hearing from all the Japanese your father and so many others did so much for.

Having been in Iraq I have learned a very interesting - Americans do so many wonderful things but they always refuse to take the credit for it.

In spite of rebuilding postwar Japan and raising it up from nothing there is no monument or any formal recognition anywhere in the country.

The same in Iraq - in spite of how the people love America and how she liberated the country there is no monument anywhere.

The only stories that come out are written by the anti-American journalists we all know so well who hate their country.

The `silent majority` of Japanese as well as those in Iraq absolutely love America because she saved their lives - in both cases from totalitarian states.

Both countries have very low self images so they write the Americans out of their history because they cannot stand the reality that they had to be liberated by others.

The interesting fact, though is that those who saw things firsthand know the truth and it is they who came up to me on the train, walking on the street, stopped, and said `thank you for all America did for me` literally hundreds of times growing up throughout Japan!

Your father was on of the nearly 500,000 including my own precious parents who gave their lives for Japan and never received a `thank you`.

Tell him that they would refuse to admit it publicly but privately say `thank you`!

I hope the compilation of the wonderful stories of all the special Americans like your father and what they did for Japan will go a little way towards rectifying that.

At the same time that is probably one of the main reasons that in spite of all efforts to harm it, America always keeps coming back because she doesnt care about being recognized for the goodness.

I grew up very anti-war and anti-American but being in Iraq and seeing firsthand the selfless giving of the young men and women there I had to face the simple fact that as Alexis De Touquiville said so long ago when he came to America to try and figure out how this upstart country was doing so well:

`America is great because America is good. If she ever ceases doing good she will cease being great.`

Send us the pictures and we will find the people!

If he has some special stories of how it was at Tachikawa please send them on and we can include them in the book!

Your friend,

Ken



> First name : Kevin
> Last name : *****
> E-mail : *****
> Comment : Dear sir or madam,
>
> My father will be 85-years-old this month and is a veteran of WWII. After the war was over, his unit, the 5th AAF, went to Tachikawa.
>
> While he was there, he met a former Japanese soldier and they soon became good friends.
>
> My father was recently talking about his experience in the war and mentioned that he'd love to be able to find his old friend. I spoke to someone who suggested your newspaper, if you were willing to publish a story about it.
>
> I don't have much information, but I do have a photograph that I can provide to you.
>
> Any help would be highly appreciated.
>
> Thank you for your time.
>
> Kevin


Thanks again, rubenandthejets. I'll keep everyone posted. Hopefully, my parents will find him and be able to fly him to America to spend a few weeks with them.

This is simply amazing!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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If you come to Japan, I can help you out a bit on this end-meet you at Narita, get you on trains and stuff like that.

Maybe you could meet them halfway-say Hawaii?
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubenandthejets View Post
If you come to Japan, I can help you out a bit on this end-meet you at Narita, get you on trains and stuff like that.

Maybe you could meet them halfway-say Hawaii?
Well, sir, I will definitely keep you posted.

Thanks again! I couldn't have done it without you!
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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Hey, rubenandthejets,

Well, it looks like it's been nearly a month since I posted a response to Ken with Japan Times and I have yet to receive an email.

Also, I've been checking Japan Time's online, and have yet to see an article posted.

Now, I know they've had a lot going on politically and with a recent earthquake, but I'm tempted to email him, just to make sure he got my response.

Should I wait a while longer and not insult him, by bothering him? Or should I send a simple request to him, asking if he did, indeed, receive my reply?

I just want to make sure I'm not going to step on any toes, since I'm the one asking for help.

And thanks again, sir. Your help is always appreciated!
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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Holy cow! After a month of waiting, Japan Times just wrote an article!

Check it out!

And thanks, rubenandthejets!!!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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Thats cool!

Good luck finding the person, I hope you will!
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #10
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I came into this thread very late it seems. Wow. I wish you and your father the best of luck, Scurvy.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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Heartwarming thread, I sincerely hope that your grandfather's friend is still alive, and will come in contact again with him.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:10 PM   #12
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Thanks, guys. Unfortunately, I haven't received any news since the article was printed.

Anymore Japanese newspapers that I can contact that will likely publish an article in both languages?
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:37 PM   #13
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You might be able to get some new leads from your father's war records. From the look of things it doesn't seem like you've gone down that avenue yet. Either you or him can request copies of his DD-214 records from the National Archives. From what you've said your father was given this assignment while still on active duty, there is a chance that at least the names could have been recorded; doubtful (but very very slightly possible) that their ranks were recorded as well.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
Thank you so much! After so much time waiting,
The `silent majority` of Japanese as well as those in Iraq absolutely love America because she saved their lives
ummm it's so doubtful
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