The war was over.
Just three days earlier, the Japanese Empire had formally surrendered in a ceremony aboard USS Missouri. In a recorded message, Emperor Hirohito ordered all Japanese soldiers and sailors to cease fighting and to lay down their arms.
Not all of them listened. Throughout the Pacific, Japanese strongholds that had been bypassed in Nimitz’s “island hopping” campaign had remained untouched. No longer capable of being supplied by land or sea, the Allies had simply allowed them to wither. In the weeks after VJ Day, small naval task forces combed the Pacific, landing on bypassed islands and urging the Japanese holdouts to come out of their caves and be repatriated with their homeland.
There was some resistance. Some Japanese, their hearts still alive with the bushido spirit, would refuse to surrender, and would remain in the jungles for decades to come.
There was one island in the Marshalls, however, where the Marines were greeted by their former enemies with a mixture of terror and joy. There were only four of them, and they kept insisting–begging–that they be removed from the island before nightfall.
Nearly seventy five years later, the details of what happened on Agrihan Island are still classified…
Hosted and narrated by:
Tacronicus Cornelius (Tacronicus)
Scenes played: 11
License: Community License