Bodies of Japanese WWII Soldiers Found in Island Caves

Bodies of Japanese WWII Soldiers Found in Island Caves


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One of the costliest battles of World War II began on September 15, 1944, when U.S. Marines landed on Peleliu, a volcanic island in the western Pacific ocean measuring only 6 miles long and 2 miles across. General Douglas MacArthur had pushed for the amphibious attack on the Japanese-controlled island and its airfield in order to diminish the potential threat to future Allied operations in the Pacific. Having learned from past attacks, however, the island’s Japanese defenders took a new strategy. They hunkered down in a vast network of underground caves connected by passageways and tunnels in an attempt to protect themselves from Allied bombardment and bog the enemy down in a protracted conflict that would yield massive casualties.

Though U.S. commanders predicted the battle for Peleliu would last only four or five days, it would stretch on for more than two months, as some 11,000 Japanese troops dug in and defended the island against 28,000 Americans. U.S. forces finally secured the island on November 27, after suffering the highest percentage of casualties of any battle in the Pacific: nearly 1,800 killed and 8,000 more wounded. As it turned out, Peleliu would ultimately prove to have little strategic importance, and would be remembered as one of the most controversial battles of the war.

The Japanese, of course, suffered even more casualties in the Battle of Peleliu. More than 10,000 soldiers were killed, many of them trapped inside their underground bunkers when U.S. forces exploded the caves during the battle. The bodies of some 2,600 Japanese soldiers were never found. In a stunning twist, a group of 35 soldiers survived within the caves of Peleliu, hiding out for some 18 months after the war ended before finally surrendering in April 1947. Two members of this group, both in their 90s, met with Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko last month and described their experience during the battle and its aftermath.

Now, in advance of a planned visit by the emperor and empress to Palau early next month, an international team has been painstakingly searching through some of the 200 long-sealed caves on Peleliu in the hopes of locating the remains of the lost Japanese troops. So far, they have discovered the bodies of six men in a cave located in an area on the island’s western coast known as the promontory.

The remains were found near a heavily fortified concrete bunker containing an anti-gun tank, and search officials believe they belong to the crew that manned the tank. Steve Ballinger, operations director of the non-governmental organization Cleared Ground Demining, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that it took a number of days for U.S. forces to capture this heavily fortified location during the Battle of Peleliu. “It’s my understanding that those [bodies] were the crew, perhaps the officer and his men that were manning that gun….[A] number of U.S. soldiers died in that vicinity as well.”

Searchers in the caves have had to proceed with extreme caution, due to the threat of booby traps or unexploded munitions left in the battle’s wake. Ballinger says his team uncovered a number of relics of war during their search around the area where the six bodies were found, including “hand grenades, large projectiles, small arms ammunition and (an) array of explosive remnants of war.” According to Ballinger, Japanese and U.S. anthropologists and archaeologists were allowed to enter the cave where the remains were found, but it has since been resealed, and the bodies of the six soldiers will be repatriated to Japan.


Secret World War II treasure worth billions ‘found in Philippines cave’… but massive stash of gold bars and rubies has been booby-trapped with BOMBS

ASTONISHING footage shows divers uncovering gold bars which were supposedly hidden by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

The viral Reddit clip claims to show the long-lost Yamashita Treasure – which includes gold and gemstones worth billions of pounds.

The video also claims the fortune is booby-trapped with bombs.

The loot was reportedly stashed in underground tunnels and caves by fighters under the command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita before Japan surrendered to the US in 1945.

Yamashita’s unit allegedly stole the booty before stashing it.

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The fortune has become a Filipino legend yet many experts claim there is no evidence the treasure ever existed.

In the newly released video, explorers are shown wiping away mud from bars revealing their shiny gold surface.

After it was shared on social media site Reddit the footage has been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

But despite the excitement around the clip, anthropologist Piers Kelly insists that Yamashita Treasure is a myth conjured by locals to boost morale.

What is the Yamashita treasure?

Yamashita treasure is the gold allegedly stolen in south east Asia by the Japanese army during WWII.

It is named after the Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita.

The loot including gold bars and gemstones, worth billions of pounds, was supposedly plundered under the command of Yamashita in 1944.

In 1988, Filipino treasure hunter Rogelio Roxas filed a lawsuit against the-then president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife for theft and human right violations.

Roxas insisted that when his search team successfully retrieved much of the gold, president Marcos ordered him to be beaten up and arrested.

Marcos allegedly stole the gold from Roxas.

In 1992, Marcos’ wife Imelda Macros admitted most of her husband’s wealth could be attributed to gold he found after WWII, with the Yamashita accounting for the bulk of it.

Speaking with the International Business Times, he said: “Tales of buried gold, silver and generic treasure are recounted throughout the Philippines.

“By tracing variations of this story, we were able to show their popularity coincides with periods of war and crisis.

“The promise of future wealth may have served to boost local morale.”

The Japanese occupation of the Philippines

During World War II, the Japanese invaded the Philippines on December 8, 1941.

Japan occupied the south east Asian country over three years, until it surrendered in 1945.

The invasion came only days after Japan’s attack on US naval base Pearl Harbour.

Anticipation of an attack by Japan saw the return of retired US General Douglas MacArthur to mobilise Philippine defences.

Between 500,000 to 1million Filipinos are feared to have died in the occupation.


Bodies, Mass Graves Found on Iwo Jima

TOKYO -- Two mass graves that may hold the remains of up to 2,000 Japanese soldiers have been discovered on the island of Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest and most iconic battlesites of World War II, a report and officials said Friday.

A team of Japanese searchers has discovered 51 remains in two areas listed by the U.S. military after the war as enemy cemeteries, one of which could contain as many as 2,000 bodies, Japan's Kyodo news agency said Friday.

The team was to report its findings later Friday to the prime minister's office.

Officials at Japan's health ministry, which supervises search efforts on the remote island, confirmed that 51 bodies had been recovered and two sites believed to be burial grounds had been found. But they could not immediately confirm the potential size of the mass graves or other details of the Kyodo report.

The discovery of the remains would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in decades toward finding the bodies of roughly 12,000 Japanese who remain missing and presumed dead after the 1945 battle on the island, which has been renamed Iwoto by the Japanese government.

The island was seen as key to the United States because it had three airfields that could be used to launch raids on Tokyo and Japan's main islands.

Virtually all of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers tasked with defending the rugged, volcanic crag were killed in the battle, which became a symbol and rallying point for the United States in the Pacific war after the U.S. flag was raised on its highest ground, Mount Suribachi.

The battle claimed 6,821 American and 21,570 Japanese lives. Dozens of remains are recovered every year, but about 12,000 Japanese are still classified as missing in action and presumed killed on the island, along with 218 Americans.

Fighting began on Feb. 19, 1945, but Iwo Jima was not declared secured until March 26.

Japan surrendered in August of that year, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to the Kyodo report, searchers dug near a runway at a base used by the Japanese military -- the only full-time inhabitants of the island -- and at the foot of Suribachi. It said the operation began early this month based on information from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The report said the main site is estimated to have about 2,000 bodies and the Suribachi site 70-200 bodies. It said the recovery effort was expected to take several months.


Bodies believed to be of Japanese WWII soldiers discovered in Palau cave sealed off for 70 years

The bodies of six soldiers, believed to be Japanese troops who fought in World War II, have been discovered in a reopened cave in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau.

The site — one of around 200 sealed caves on the island of Pelileu — was recently opened again for the first time in nearly 70 years.

The caves were used when US and Japanese forces fought a fierce battle on the island's beaches in September 1944.

Steve Ballinger, operations director with non-government organisation Cleared Ground Demining, said the bodies of the six soldiers would be repatriated.

"The cave itself is in an area known as the promontory which is the defining point on the west coast of the island of Pelileu," he told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.

"At that location was an anti-tank gun in a heavily fortified concrete bunker and it took a number of days actually to capture this fortified position.

"It's my understanding that those [bodies] were the crew, perhaps the officer and his men that were manning that gun . a number of US soldiers died in that vicinity as well."

Mr Ballinger said other war relics were also found in and around the cave.

"During the detection and investigation we located hand grenades, large projectiles, small arms ammunition and (an) array of explosive remnants of war," he said.

The decision to open the caves in Palau comes ahead of an imperial visit next week by Japanese emperor Akihito and empress Michiko.

Supplied: Richard W. Brooks

The team tasked with making the caves safe for anthropologists to investigate has been operating in Palau to clear remnants of WWII ordnance for six years.

It is made up of 18 Palauans, two Britons and one person each from South Africa and Australia.

Mr Ballinger said the team had been concerned about possible booby traps when they first entered the cave.

"[We] had to check in the floor and the entrance of the cave to allow Japanese and US anthropologists and archaeologists in there," he said.

"It was very tight, it was a very difficult entrance to the cave, a very harsh environment to work in."

He said the cave the remains were found has since been resealed.

"A lot of field caves will contain considerable quantities of human remains and as such you could designate them as graves and wouldn't be appropriate to use as tourist attractions," he said.

An estimated 10,000 Japanese soldiers died during the fighting in the country, and the remains of some 2,600 troops have never been found.


Underground shelter

Yokoi's long ordeal began in July 1944 when US forces stormed Guam as part of their offensive against the Japanese in the Pacific.

The fighting was fierce, casualties were high on both sides, but once the Japanese command was disrupted, soldiers such as Yokoi and others in his platoon were left to fend for themselves.

"From the outset they took enormous care not to be detected, erasing their footprints as they moved through the undergrowth," Hatashin said.

In the early years the Japanese soldiers, soon reduced to a few dozen in number, caught and killed local cattle to feed off.

But fearing detection from US patrols and later from local hunters, they gradually withdrew deeper into the jungle.

There they ate venomous toads, river eels and rats.

Yokoi made a trap from wild reeds for catching eels. He also dug himself an underground shelter, supported by strong bamboo canes.

"He was an extremely resourceful man," Hatashin says.

Keeping himself busy also kept him from thinking too much about his predicament, or his family back home, his nephew said.


Ralph Ignatowski was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Polish-born Walter Ignatowski and a German mother, the former Frances Thomas.

U.S. Marine Corps Edit

World War II Edit

Ignatowski failed the physical examination when he first tried to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1943. However, he tried again, taking a friend's urine sample with him and this time passed the physical. In 1944, after "boot" camp training, he was assigned to 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.

He became a close friend with one of his platoon's Navy corpsmen, John "Doc" Bradley, who was with Ignatowski on the battlefield just before he was captured on Iwo Jima. For more than 70 years, Bradley was considered to be one of the six persons who raised the American flag on top of Mount Suribachi in Joe Rosenthal's photo Raising the flag on Iwo Jima when he was not (on June 23, 2016, the Marine Corps announced that John Bradley was not in the famous flag-raising photo) [1] he was involved with helping to secure both the flag's flagstaffs put up on windy Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945.

Military records Edit

Service record: Private Ignatowski was aboard the USS Missoula at sea on February 5, 1945, and arrived at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands on February 7. Ignatowski was at sea again from February 8 to 10, and disembarked at Saipan, Marianas Islands, on February 11. Ignatowski boarded USS LST-481 [2] and sailed to Iwo Jima from February 11 to 18. Ignatowski, E Company, 28th Marines, arrived at Iwo Jima on February 19. Ignatowski was wounded by shrapnel in the jaw on February 20, 1945, and returned to duty the same day.

28th Marine Regiment record: On March 4, 1945, Ignatowski was seen captured and taken into a cave by Japanese soldiers and about 2 hours later, the deceased body of Second Lieutenant Leonard Sokol (KIA) was taken away at same location by Japanese soldiers. On March 7, 1945, both their bodies were found. The following entries from the 28th Marine Regiment records describe the timeline of their deaths:

  • Mar 4, 1845 hrs – Fr LT228 – One P.F.C. from Easy Co, name unknown, believed captured by Japs in vicinity of Hill 215.
  • Mar 4, 2030 hrs – Fr LT228 – Lt. Sokol was killed at 1330 at 233 X and body taken by Nips – No maps or shackle codes known to be on his person according to Capt Severance.
  • Mar 4, 2100 hrs – Fr LT 228 – All quiet – Easy Co. reports Japs were definitely seen grabbing man into cave near where Lt. Sokol's body disappeared.
  • Mar 7, 1900 hrs – Fr. LT228 – Body of captured PFC from "E" Co (Ignatowski) had apparently been searched (pack emptied) and tortured – arm broken, body beaten. Location 450 yds north of tip of Hill 362. Forward and left of E Co's present CP – Lt. Sokol's body nearby mutilated by one of our own flame throwers.
  • Mar 7, 1940 hrs – Fr D2 – Corps requests written statements from men in "E" Co who saw Ignatowski captured.
  • Mar 8, 0855 hrs – Fr 5th Div. Red Cross – Request details on capture of PFC Ignatowsky "E" Co. Call Mr. Thomas c/o Columbus #1
  • Mar 8, 1010 hrs – Fr LT228 – Ignatowski body evacuated with Lt. Sokol's. En route, via Regt.
  • Mar 8, 1150 hrs – To D2 – Requested Regimental ARC representative and Regimental Surgeon examine body of P.F.C. Ignatowski and prepare affidavits.
  • Mar 9, 1154 hrs – Fr D2 – Requests detail re Ignatowski and statements: a. Circumstances of capture b. Events intervening between capture and recovery. c. Circumstances of recovery of body.

Death Edit

Although the exact circumstances are uncertain, Ignatowski was taken prisoner by Japanese troops, tortured, killed, and then mutilated.

Ignatowski's death is referenced in several books:

  • In his book Semper Chai!: Marines of Blue and White (and Red) about Jews in the U.S. Marine Corps, author Howard J. Leavitt collected eyewitness reports regarding the actual circumstances of Ignatowski and Sokol's deaths, including a letter to the surviving members of the family of Lieutenant Sokol by fellow Marine James Buchanan:
  • Ignatowski's death is also mentioned in the book Flags of Our Fathers, coauthored by the son of first flag raiser John Bradley. The following are his recollections of Ignatowski's death:

Other eyewitness reports further indicated that Ignatowski had been tortured in the cave by the Japanese for three days, during which time they also cut out his eyes, cut off his ears, smashed in his teeth and skull. He had several wounds to his stomach, which had been repeatedly stabbed with a bayonet. As a final insult, his genitalia had been severed and stuffed into his mouth. [3]

Burial Edit

Ignatowski's remains were initially interred with military honors in Grave 1201, Row 11, Plot 5, 5th Marine Division Cemetery, Iwo Jima. In 1949, his body was exhumed and reinterred at the Rock Island National Cemetery in Illinois.


Underground shelter

Yokoi's long ordeal began in July 1944 when US forces stormed Guam as part of their offensive against the Japanese in the Pacific.

The fighting was fierce, casualties were high on both sides, but once the Japanese command was disrupted, soldiers such as Yokoi and others in his platoon were left to fend for themselves.

"From the outset they took enormous care not to be detected, erasing their footprints as they moved through the undergrowth," Hatashin said.

In the early years the Japanese soldiers, soon reduced to a few dozen in number, caught and killed local cattle to feed off.

But fearing detection from US patrols and later from local hunters, they gradually withdrew deeper into the jungle.

There they ate venomous toads, river eels and rats.

Yokoi made a trap from wild reeds for catching eels. He also dug himself an underground shelter, supported by strong bamboo canes.

"He was an extremely resourceful man," Hatashin says.

Keeping himself busy also kept him from thinking too much about his predicament, or his family back home, his nephew said.


Philippine island preserves history of Japanese WWII soldier Hiroo Onoda, who hid in jungles for decades

LUBANG ISLAND, PHILIPPINES – The memories of Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda remain alive on the Philippine island of Lubang, southwest of Manila, 45 years after his surrender.

Onoda, an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer deployed to the island from December 1944 to lead guerrilla warfare at the height of World War II, did not surrender until March 10, 1974, over 28 years after the war ended, because he had not received orders from his superiors to stop.

The native of Wakayama Prefecture died in January 2014 in Tokyo at the age of 91.

“Onoda is a historical person. I think he’s the only person who hid for so long and then survived,” said 17-year-old Nico Felix, a high school student on the island that is part of Occidental Mindoro Province.

Felix said he knows Onoda’s story because the local community and his school occasionally talk about “the Japanese soldier during WWII who hid in the mountains here.”

Many are also aware because of the public opening of the Onoda Trail and Caves tourist site in 2011. The mountain attraction offers visitors a glimpse of Onoda’s life in the forest.

Carolyn Villas, 51, a social studies teacher, said that for over two decades now, she makes it a point to bring up the case of Onoda when discussing the war with her students.

“Of course, the students need to know that this happened to us, that we are part of the Philippine history, that Onoda was known in history because he was the longest to be in hiding (and) that’s why he was called a Japanese straggler,” Villas said.

By making them aware that their own home island played a significant part in history, the younger generation of Lubang residents will be “more curious and interested about our own local history,” she added.

Felix said he and other students “should learn about Onoda because that is part of our own history, and it helps to know about the damages of World War II so they won’t be repeated.”

Bryan James, 18, another high school student, said that largely because of Onoda, “Lubang is already known to others” and the island’s tourism potential has grown.

The Japanese soldier also showed how it is “to live on your own, and survive out of just natural and organic resources,” added fellow student Aaron James, 17.

Edwin Trajico, 54, the chief tour guide at Onoda Trail and Caves, similarly said, “One legacy that Onoda left out of his hiding in this mountain is the lesson that people can actually live in a natural environment or in the forest, where food is readily available and even medicine.”

“Because of him, we are now also able to preserve this forest, this mountain,” he added.

Older folks, on the other hand, who were alive while Onoda was hiding in the mountains, have other narratives and sentiments to share.

Adiodato de Lara, 76, said Onoda and his fellow straggler, Kinshichi Kozuka, burned rice plantations tended to by his father, and killed or stole cows, which Onoda admitted to in his book.

De Lara also accused Kozuka of killing his father on April 25, 1972, adding that he and other Japanese soldiers “caused so much disturbance here” and that the people should be apologized to and compensated for that.

Kozuka was Onoda’s last companion in the mountains of Lubang from May 1954 until October 1972 when he was shot dead by local authorities. Another soldier surrendered in September 1949 and one was shot dead in May 1954.

Felito Voluntad, 68, was a high school student joining a local patrol team searching for the Japanese soldiers sometime in 1969 when he was sniped on his back, either by Kozuka or Onoda.

The minor injury, which was treated promptly by a local doctor, left a scar that remains visible today. Voluntad said others were not as lucky as him. “There were some they killed by shooting. My uncle was also shot and injured in the stomach.

“I was angry at them. … I was happy when (Onoda) surrendered because there was nothing for people to fear about anymore in the mountains,” he said.

While he agrees that Onoda and his party should have apologized to and compensated the local people, Voluntad said he understands “where Onoda is coming from because he really thought the war was still ongoing at the time.”

Jacobo Balbuena, 76, a retired airman of the Philippine Air Force who was stationed on the island, can still vividly recall how the Japanese and local authorities conducted the search for Onoda and convinced him to surrender.

Balbuena said he joined the search patrol immediately after Norio Suzuki, a Japanese civilian who established contact with Onoda in February 1974, eventually leading to his surrender a month later, showed a photo of the Japanese soldier taken in the jungle.

Onoda finally yielded after his commanding officer, Maj. Yoshimi Taniguchi, flew to the island and personally relieved him of duty.

“We were surprised when we actually saw Onoda in person because he was only around 5 feet tall, and not a very big person,” Balbuena recounted.

Balbuena said he was part of the 14 “honor guards” who Onoda passed through upon his surrender at Gozar Air Station. “He walked straight. He was snappy. He looked like a very smart soldier. He looked very strong.”

Villas, the social studies teacher, said that despite the negative aspects of Onoda’s stay on the island, “still, we have to appreciate it. Anyway, those are all over now.”

“His importance is that, in hiding here, despite the not-too-many very good memories at the time, the place is now preserved. (The Onoda Trail and Caves) is even rightfully named after him now,” she said.

“The people of Lubang are very kind. Despite the bad things that happened, he was still given some kind of a tribute.”

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Bodies, Mass Graves Found on Iwo Jima

Two mass graves that may hold the remains of up to 2,000 Japanese soldiers have been discovered on the island of Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest and most iconic battlesites of World War II, a report and officials said Friday.

A team of Japanese searchers has discovered 51 remains in two areas listed by the U.S. military after the war as enemy cemeteries, one of which could contain as many as 2,000 bodies, Japan's Kyodo news agency said Friday.

The team was to report its findings later Friday to the prime minister's office.

Officials at Japan's health ministry, which supervises search efforts on the remote island, confirmed that 51 bodies had been recovered and two sites believed to be burial grounds had been found. But they could not immediately confirm the potential size of the mass graves or other details of the Kyodo report.

The discovery of the remains would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in decades toward finding the bodies of roughly 12,000 Japanese who remain missing and presumed dead after the 1945 battle on the island, which has been renamed Iwoto by the Japanese government.

The island was seen as key to the United States because it had three airfields that could be used to launch raids on Tokyo and Japan's main islands.

Trending News

Virtually all of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers tasked with defending the rugged, volcanic crag were killed in the battle, which became a symbol and rallying point for the United States in the Pacific war after the U.S. flag was raised on its highest ground, Mount Suribachi.

The battle claimed 6,821 American and 21,570 Japanese lives. Dozens of remains are recovered every year, but about 12,000 Japanese are still classified as missing in action and presumed killed on the island, along with 218 Americans.

Fighting began on Feb. 19, 1945, but Iwo Jima was not declared secured until March 26.

Japan surrendered in August of that year, after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to the Kyodo report, searchers dug near a runway at a base used by the Japanese military — the only full-time inhabitants of the island — and at the foot of Suribachi. It said the operation began early this month based on information from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The report said the main site is estimated to have about 2,000 bodies and the Suribachi site 70-200 bodies. It said the recovery effort was expected to take several months.

First published on October 21, 2010 / 10:53 PM

© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Contents

In June 1945, Allied victory at the major Battle of Okinawa led to the occupation of the highly-strategic Okinawa Prefecture of Japan shortly before the end of the Pacific War. Reportedly, three African-American soldiers of the United States Marines Corps began to repeatedly visit the village of Katsuyama, northwest of the city of Nago, and every time they violently took the village women into the nearby hills and raped them. The Marines became so confident that the villagers of Katsuyama were powerless to stop them, they came to the village without their weapons. [2]

The villagers took advantage of this and ambushed them with the help of two armed Imperial Japanese Army soldiers who were hiding in the nearby jungle. [2] Shinsei Higa, who was sixteen at the time, remembers that "I didn't see the actual killing because I was hiding in the mountains above, but I heard five or six gunshots and then a lot of footsteps and commotion. By late afternoon, we came down from the mountains and then everyone knew what had happened." [1]

The Marines were killed and, to cover up their deaths, dumped their bodies in a local cave that had a 50-foot (15-m) drop-off close to its entrance. In the summer of 1945, when the three Marines did not return to their posts, they were listed as possible deserters. After a year with still no evidence of what happened to them, they were declared missing in action. [1] [3] Knowledge of the killings subsequently became a village secret for the next 50 years, remaining secret for the duration Okinawa was governed by the United States Military Government and the United States Civil Administration until 1972, when the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration.

Kijun Kishimoto, a villager who was almost 30 years old and absent from Katsuyama at the time of the incident, eventually revealed the killings. In an interview, Kishimoto said, "People were very afraid that if the Americans found out what happened there would be retaliation, so they decided to keep it a secret to protect those involved." [1] Finally, a guilty conscience led Kishimoto to contact Setsuko Inafuku ( 稲福節子 ) , a tour guide for Kadena United States Air Base in Okinawa, whose deceased son Clive was also a victim of sexual assault, and who was involved in the search for deceased servicemen from the war. [1]

In June 1997, Kishimoto and Inafuku searched for the cave near Katsuyama, but could not find it until August when a storm blew down a tree which had been blocking the entrance. [1] Kishimoto and Inafuku informed the Japanese police in Okinawa but they kept the discovery a secret for a few months to protect the people who discovered the location of the bodies.

The Katsuyama incident was reported to the United States military by Inafuku, who informed then-Kadena Air Base 18th Wing Historian Master-Sergeant James Allender, who in turn reported it to the Joint Services Central Identification Laboratory at Pearl Harbor. Once the bodies were recovered by the United States Army, the three Marines were identified using dental records as Private First Class James D. Robinson of Savannah, Private First Class John M. Smith of Cincinnati, and Private Isaac Stokes of Chicago, all aged 19 years-old. [1] The cause of death could not be determined. [4]


Sifting sand

As the Underwater Recovery Team excavated the ocean floor, Military Sealift Command mariners with the U.S. Navy helped above water. The mariners operated cranes that moved the lift salvage baskets, and some archaeologist-trained crew members looked for World War II remains by sifting through the sand.

"It&rsquos [a] very meticulous process," civilian mariner Jean Marien, chief mate of the USNS Salvor, said in the statement. "There was a lot of sand &mdash a never ending supply."

It took about 5 hours to sift through each basket, which measured 4 feet by 8 feet (1.2 by 2.4 meters) and 4.5 feet (1.3 m) tall.

"It took multiple dives to fill a sifting basket. Each dive lasted about an hour and the baskets took 5 [hours] to 6 hours to fill,&rdquo Marien said. "Sometimes we had two baskets going at the same time."


Watch the video: Why the Japanese were the EVILEST and most IMMORAL Army of WWII