WWII veteran and Marine Marvin Strombo has returned a Japanese soldier’s battle flag to the man’s family after Strombo found the flag on the soldier 73 years earlier during the 1944 Battle of Saipan.
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 flag had about 180 signatures of family members and others in Yasue’s community, and was meant to deliver good luck in battle.
Strombo traveled to a remote farming village in Japan Tuesday to return the soldier’s flag. The trip was made with help from the Obon Society, an Oregon-based nonprofit that works to bring about reconciliation between wartime enemies.
Yasue’s younger brother, now 89, and sister, 95, accepted the flag gratefully. A younger