PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. Marine who served in the Pacific during World War II is traveling 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 says returning the flag to Yasue’s surviving siblings will help him heal.
Strombo on Thursday boarded a flight from Portland to Japan, where he will travel to the village next 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.