Today, 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onoda died at age 91 and leaves a legacy of unprecedented military service by continuing fighting until told otherwise by his commanding officer some 30 years after WWII was over. After mistrusting all the leaflets dropped of Japan's surrender, Onoda and three other soldiers moved into the mountainous jungle and continued their guerrilla war on the island of Lubang in the Philippines until 1974. It wasn't until all his comrades had died and until his old commanding officer came to the island to rescind his original order to never surrender and continue a guerrilla action, that he surrendered. Onoda and his men were responsible for 30 Philippine deaths as well as numerous acts of sabotage during their long guerrilla action. Once arrested, he was soon pardoned due to the fact that him and his men still believed that they were at war and the deaths and damage caused where considered acts of war and not those of crimes. Once he arrived back in Japan he would be hailed as a hero but this fame was unwanted and he would soon move to Brazil and become a rancher. Later in his life, he would open up some nature schools for kids in Japan and would donate $10K for schools to his old battleground of Lubang. Whatever you might say about the man, he was a stubborn bastard who followed his orders to the word and was one hell of a soldier. The iconic example of the Japanese soldier's blind devotion to duty and another example of how brutal the fighting in the PTO really was.
One hard chargin' SOB,
Onoda emerging from the jungle to surrender in 1974.