Hiroo Onoda was an Imperial Japanese Army officer. He was the second lieutenant. He refused to surrender after World War II ended and spent about 29 years in the jungle hiding. During this time, he killed 30 Filipinos assuming that they were enemy soldiers. Onoda was an intelligence officer trained in guerrilla tactics.
At the time of World War II, he was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die. He was sent to the island of Lubang in 1944. Onoda survived there for 30 long years on coconut milk, bananas, and cow meat. He was one of 60 soldiers who fought on from their jungle posts.
Quick Facts: –
- Hiroo Onoda was born on March 19, 1922, in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
- His father was a sergeant in the 4th Cavalry Brigade until 1943.
- Hiroo left for the Philippines to join the Sugi Brigade on December 17, 1944.
- He was ordered by Major Yoshimi Taniguchi and Major Takahashi to lead the Lubang Garrison in guerrilla warfare.
- He was the last Japanese soldier to come out of hiding and surrender.
- Onoda came across as an example of extraordinary loyalty of Japanese Soldier.
- He actually refused to believe that the war had ended with Japan’s defeat in August 1945.
- He only agreed to surrender when his former commanding officer came to the island of Lubang.
- Onoda wore his 30-year-old army uniform, cap, and sword in the official surrender to the then Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos.
- He returned to Japan in March 1974 but the following year he immigrated to Brazil and became a farmer.
- Hiroo Onoda died on January 16, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan. He was 91 years old at that time.