BORN TODAY: in Central Japan, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, the “last Japanese straggler” (soldier) on the jungle island of Guam. In 1944 his regiment was “practically annihilated” by US forces, and in 1955 he was announced officially dead by the Japanese government. He was found alive in January 1972.
“Yokoi’s capture made national headlines and captivated people on Guam and around the world. The army sergeant had survived almost three decades in the hills of the Talofofo River basin until two Chamorro hunters from Talofofo, Manuel D. Garcia, age 36, and Jesus Duenas, age 43, were checking their fish traps around 6:30 p.m. that evening. The hunters noticed a man by the river who, according to their report to the police, they assumed was an individual from their village known for roaming this area. They surprised Yokoi, who charged at them after dropping a homemade net sack containing shrimp traps. Yokoi, already 57 years old at the time, still feared his life was in danger and panicked. According to his nephew Omi Hatashin, Yokoi reached for one of the hunter’s rifles, but in his weakened state, he was no match for the two men. The hunters then subdued Yokoi, and brought him out of the jungle tied and slightly bruised. As he was led through the jungle, the soldier asked to be killed then and there. Treating the straggler with kindness instead, they fed him before they brought him to the commissioner’s (mayor’s) office.” [www.guampedia.com/]
Your country needs you! (even more): The British Government announces that it has lifted its ban on the military recruiting men with bad teeth.
Stiff upper lip: Bruce Bairnsfather’s first published satirical cartoon from the trenches appears in the “Bystander” magazine.