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Fighting a Long Lost Cause
"For most of the world, World War II ended in 1945. Nobody told that to Hiroo Onoda, and he kept fighting the lost war until 1974."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
In late 1944, young Hiroo Onoda was sent fresh from his intelligence training to fight in the Pacific during World War II. His first (and only) assignment was to destroy the American airstrip and pier at Lubang Island with the brigade already stationed there. Where is Lubang Island located?
Allied troops landed in the area in late February 1945, and shortly after wrested control away from the Japanese. Most of the brigade was killed or surrendered, but Onoda retreated into the wilderness to escape capture. How many other men came with Onoda?
Onoda's group subsisted on a small amount of rice they previously had along with coconuts and bananas found in the jungle. Since this could not last forever, how else did the soldiers get food?
They raided local villages and killed cows
They raided Allied camps
They performed surprise attacks on Allied soldiers and took their field rations
They fished at night far from Allied camps
In October 1945, Onoda's group found a note left by a local villager noting "The war ended on August 15. Come down from the mountains!" Soon after, the Japanese army dropped similar leaflets over the area. What impact did this have on the soldiers in hiding?
The notes were considered an Allied hoax to get them out of hiding, and were ignored
Onoda found them himself and destroyed them before anyone else saw
Most of the men saw them as genuine and left to go home
Half of the group tried to leave, so Onoda killed them for being traitors
By late 1949, the group dwindled to three when Yuichi Akatsu left to live on his own. The remaining members began to get even more careful, afraid that Akatsu would give away details of their location. What became of Akatsu?
He was never heard from again
He committed ritual suicide after giving up hope of being rescued
He gave himself up to local troops
He was killed by a local farmer when trying to steal food
Siochi Shimada lasted until 1954. In 1953, he was shot in the leg by local fishermen, though he was nursed back to health. Over the next year, he became depressed despite his improved health. What reduced the group down to two members?
Shimada was arrested by local police and put in jail
Shimada became homesick and left the group to return home
Shimada was fatally shot during a skirmish
Shimada threatened to leave the group, so Onoda had him killed to "protect" himself from Shimada giving information to the Allies
Onoda and Kinshichi Kozuka, the two surviving members, were both declared dead in late 1959. However, on October 19, 1972, a run-in with local authorities proved otherwise, even though its outcome left Onoda to fend for himself in the jungle. What was Kozuka's fate?
He was arrested and put to death for accumulated crimes
He was shot and could not get away, and once healthy again he returned home
He was captured by an Allied patrol and put on trial for war crimes
He was shot and killed by a Filipino patrol
In 1974, college dropout Norio Suzuki left Japan to search for Lieutenant Onoda. Succeeding where many had failed previously, he tracked down Onoda and attempted to explain that the war had actually ended in 1945. What was Onoda's response?
He determined Suzuki was an Allied spy and sent him back with the message that he would never surrender
He determined Suzuki was an Allied spy and killed him
He admitted to Suzuki that he could never be convinced that the war had ended
He told Suzuki he would only stand down if his commander ordered him to
By the time that Hiroo Onoda formally surrendered to authorities, he was 52 years old, and had spent over half of his life fighting a war long since over for the rest of the world. What was President Ferdinand Marcos' response to Onoda's surrender?
Marcos had no official response as it was deemed a non-issue
Marcos forced Onoda to pay restitution for the damage caused to locals
Onoda was granted a full pardon and was allowed to return home
Marcos jailed Onoda for a short period of time, but soon after was extradited to Japan
In 1975, Onoda left Japan to become a cattle rancher in Brazil to escape from the public eye, and married in 1976. He eventually went back to Japan permanently in 1984. In 1996, he returned to Lubang Island to donate $10,000 to a local school. How did Onoda support himself upon his return to Japan?
He began a low-level political career thanks to his national status
Nothing, since he retired
He opened a nature camp for kids to teach them survival skills
Since he was a national hero, he rejoined the army as an official consultant
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Compiled Jun 28 12