THE NAMES ON THE FLAG
From the Taro Leaf, Spring 2017
In 1999, Debbie Anthony’s husband, Cliff, was given an old Japanese flag, dating back to World War II, that contained the signatures of 189 U.S. soldiers. The soldiers who signed that flag were from the 24th Infantry Division.
Anthony’s husband was delivering auto parts to a garage in Limestone, NY, when he first came across the flag. The garage owner, while talking to Anthony’s husband, started to rip up a box of rags. At the bottom of the box was a 3 ½ foot by 5 ½ foot Japanese flag.
The garage owner unfolded the flag and asked if anyone wanted it. If not, he was going to burn it. Anthony’s husband rescued the flag before it went into the fire. That was just the beginning of the flag’s long journey from the Philippine Islands back to the soldiers who signed it.
The veterans who signed the flag were all from the 34th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division. It is unknown exactly when or where they signed it. Most of the men were from I Company, some were from K and C Companies.
The flag originated in the Philippines then traveled to Japan. According to Anthony, this is proven by the fact that some men who signed the flag were stationed only in the Philippines, some were in both the Philippines and Japan, and some were stationed only in Japan. Copies of discharge papers and family records help prove this theory. How and when the flag got to the United States is still unknown.
This story continues...
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Gain full access to all website content at 24thTaroLeaf.com by joining the 24th IDA.