The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: January 24 – Shoichi Yokoi Found 40 Years Ago

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Shoichi Yokoi was a Japanese sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. He was among the last three Japanese hold-outs to surrender after the end of hostilities in 1945, being found in the jungle of Guam in January 1972, almost 28 years after the island had been liberated by US forces in 1944. When American forces captured the island in the 1944 Battle of Guam, Yokoi went into hiding with ten other Japanese soldiers. Seven of the holdouts moved away and the other two died of starvation. Yokoi survived by hunting, primarily at night. He used native plants to make clothes, bedding, and storage implements, which he carefully hid in his cave. On the evening of January 24, 1972, Yokoi was discovered in the jungle by Jesus Duenas and Manuel De Gracia, two local men who were checking shrimp traps along a small river on Talofofo. They had initially assumed that Yokoi was a local villager, but managed to surprise and subdue him, and carry him out of the jungle. “It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned,” Yokoi said upon his return to Japan. The remark would become a popular saying in Japanese.

It’s Tuesday, January 24

The American Red Cross holds a blood drive on Friday from 11 to 3 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 1620 West Main Street in Murray. Donors must be healthy, be at least seventeen years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Find more information and schedule an appointment online at redcrossblood.org.

The Alzheimer’s Association provides a program on legal and financial planning on Thursday at the Pennyrile Area Development District Office in Hopkinsville. The program begins at 5:30PM. For more information, contact James Patterson at 886-9484.

Land Between the Lakes hosts their annual Bison Auction on Saturday, with viewing at 8AM. The auction will occur at the South Bison Range Corral beginning at 9AM. All buyers are required to pay in full and to load bison on the day of the auction. For more information, contact Curtis Fowler at 924-2061.

Hear President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight at 8 on WKMS.

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Written by Matt Markgraf

January 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

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