People Trivia

The Unbelievable Life Of Hiroo Onoda, The Man Who Fought WWII For 30 Extra Years

Who was Hiroo Onoda? Onoda was a Japanese soldier who refused to surrender long after the capitulation of Japan in WWII. For 29 extra years, Onoda continued to execute the mission that he was ordered to carry out in 1944. Stationed at Lubang Island, in the Philippines, he and his three-man team were the only survivors when the US attacked and recaptured the island in 1945. Onoda ordered the group to retreat to remote mountains, occasionally carrying out guerrilla missions against island installations, which was his original assignment. Despite the death or capture of all three of his subordinates, repeated attempts to inform him of the end of the war, and gun battles with Filipino authorities, Onoda fought on. When he was finally tracked down by a Japanese national and told that the war was over, he responded by saying he was continuing to follow orders and would not surrender until he received an appropriate command from his superior officer.

How Onoda finally agreed to give up, his subsequent life as a celebrated Japanese hero and expatriate in Brazil, and his controversial outlook on Japanese society and militarism are just some of the unbelievable facts about Hiroo Onoda. Read on to discover more about a guy who lived nearly three decades lost from civilization.