Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dinagat in History: Legacy of Memories

Four months earlier during World War II, a less-famous flag-raising occurred on Dinagat Island in the Philippines on Oct. 17, 1944, heralding the pending arrival of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who had promised, “I shall return.”

“Today, I saw the first flag recaptured from the Japs here. It is in the office of Lt. General Krueger, gruff soldierly commander of our Sixth Army. Here is part of the story of the flag, but only part of the story, for no single man knows the whole story. We can assume it passed into the hands of the Japs somewhere on Luzon Island back in 1942, and eventually a Nipponese lieutenant named Yamate took what he thought final possession of it. Yamate was stationed on Bataan. One day he was transferred to Dinagat Island. Dinagat, you’ll recall, was seized by Sixth Army Rangers on Oct. 17 -- three days before the invasion of Leyte. Well, when we landed there, Lt. Yamate skipped and he skipped in a hurry. Around noon on the 17th, Lt. Therrien of Thompsonville, Conn., was checking articles which fleeing Jap officers had left behind. And in Lt. Yamate’s trunk Therrien found the flag. What’s more it was neatly folded, according to the prescribed American Army regulations. The flag, which Yamate brought to Dinagat Island from Bataan, was recovered intact, except for two small holes possibly caused by shots though no one will ever know for sure. In the early hours of the afternoon of the 17th, a little group of the Sixth Army Rangers gathered around a hastily constructed flagpole on Dinagat Island. Sgt. Francis W. Anderson, Chehalis, Washington, raised the flag and the others saluted. A few days ago, the Rangers turned it over to General Krueger, their boss, and some day soon, he’s going to give it to his boss, Douglas MacArthur, and that’s the story of the first flag recaptured in the Philippines. From Lt. Yamate to Gen. MacArthur. This is Arthur Feldman reporting.” Link to Full Story by Julie McDonald For The Chronicle

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