U.S. vet returns flag taken in Philippines

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) It was 59 years ago when Stewart Kob captured a Japanese flag on a Philippine island.

Kob, 80, was a member of U.S. Army Company A, 130th Regiment. His unit was chasing the enemy when he came upon the flag.

But Kob rarely looked at the white flag with the Rising Sun symbol after bringing it home, and finally decided it was time the return the flag to its rightful owner or his descendants. On Friday, the old war memento was presented to officials at the Japanese Embassy in Washington.

There's a good chance the flag will find its way to its original owner or his family, a Japanese official told the Kalamazoo Gazette for a recent story.

"In this case, I have found the soldier's name on the flag," said Kazuhisa Takahashi, first secretary at the embassy. "I believe the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry can locate the family members."

For health reasons, Kob was unable to go to Washington for the meeting, which was arranged by the staff of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan.

Takahashi conveyed a thank you to Kob on behalf of the Japanese government.

Kob spent 30 months seeing action in New Guinea, the Philippines and other Pacific islands during World War II. He also served with the Allied Occupation forces in Japan.

He said he holds no ill will toward the Japanese now.

Takahashi said he receives an average of three requests a month from American World War II veterans wishing to return war mementos.

"Fifty-nine years is enough time to keep something like that," Kob said

03/06/2004

Bron : The Japan Times 

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