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Please read the article I wrote for the USMC 4th division newsletter about returning WWII items to Japan.
Download the PDF here.

Survivors of Midway Share Memories
Orange County Register
September 3, 2010|

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Dan King's latest article recently appeared in the Marine Corps magazine "Leatherneck" (April 2010 issue) regarding the return to Wake Island by 2 men who were on the receiving end of the Japanese invasion on Dec 23, 1941. The two were among the many US Marines and civilian construction workers who were captured and sent to POW camps in Japan. One of the men was Cpl. John Dale who also appears with Dan King in the award-winning 2 hour documentary "Wake Island, Alamo of the Pacific".

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"Dan King accepted a rare invitation to attend a ceremony for the Japanese war dead held in Nobeoka, Kyushu. A full page article appeared on Feb. 4, 2010, in the "Yukan Daily"describing the memorial for the Japanese war dead from the Solomon Islands Campaign. The ceremony was conducted by WWII Japanese army veteran Maretsugu Matsutani (86) who survived a severe wound in the battle for Bougainville. He helds the annual ceremony to honor his fallen comrades and pray for world peace." The event was attended by approximately 50 people who were mostly relatives of Japanese army troops who served in the Solomons, or never returned. There were only 4 surviving WWII veterans in attendance. The article was written by Mr. Kozo Sakamoto.

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(PDF 536 KB)

Mr. Maretsugu Matsutani (86) formerly a Sgt in the Japanese Army's 23rd Regt, 6th Div. fought against Australian troops on Bougainville. Mr. Matsutani commissioned a trio of Buddhist statues representing the goddess of Mercy on the island of Bougainville, the hilltop temple in his hometown of Nobeoka and in his own garden where he makes daily offerings and prays for the souls of his departed brothers in arms.

An article featuring Dan King interviewing Mr. Maretsugu Matsutani (86) formerly a Sgt in the Japanese Army's 23rd Regt, 6th Div. The article introduced King's ongoing efforts to record WWII Japanese veterans' experience as for his upcoming oral history book.

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Copy of the "Palau Horizon" dated Sept 18, 2009 in which an article appeared regarding a visit to Peleliu by 3 US WWII veterans to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the battle.

The event was attended by about 100 people including locals, Japanese representativ es and 15 Americans who accompanied the veterans to the island. The US Seabees, stationed on Koror, also attended the event to raise the Colors. Also in attendance was the Governor of Peleliu the Honorable Kangichi Uchau who later hosted a wonderful dinner honoring the Americans who returned to Peleliu for the event. Article by reporter Bernadette Carreon.

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(PDF 504 KB)

From L-R President Johnson Toribiong, Herb Weihs (USMC-1st Div), James I. James (US Army 81st Div)and Franklin Pomroy (USMC-1st Div). The veterans attended a ceremony held on Sept 15th to commemorate the amphibious landing by the USMC's 1st Division in 1944. The US Army landed on Anguar shortly afterwards and soon moved to join the heated battle in progress on Peleliu.

An article appearing in the August 15th edition of the Kobe Shinbun in which Dan King asks the readership's help in identifying a Japanese flag that was brought back from Iwo Jima. It is marked "Kobe City" and has stamps from a temple in Kobe so it is believed by the Japanese who observed it to be from that area. Assisting him in his quest to return the flag to the family is Iwo Jima veteran Tsuruji Akikusa who was a seaman during was severely wounded and captured during the battle. Dan King interviewed Mr. Akikusa for his upcoming oral history book on the experiences of the Japanese fighting man in WWII.

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Dan King wrote a Memorial Day article for the Orange County Register about his trip to Guam and Iwo Jima and the many U.S. and Japanese vets he met.

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Article as it appeared in the West Virginia newspaper called the Gazette on Dan King's historical research for the USMC Historical Company and for EA Games video game called "Medal of Honor."

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Newspaper articles from the Chuunichi Shinbun regarding the return of a Japanese Army Pilot's logbook by USMC Pilot Capt. Ken Walsh. Medal of Honor recipient Ken Walsh was a member of the infamous "Black Sheep Squadron" under Major Pappy Boyington. During the course of the war, Capt Walsh shot down 21 Japanese planes to be one of the Marine Corps leading aces.

Dan King met Capt. Walsh after reading an article that appeared in the Orange County Register (it was sent to him in Japan by his Mother living in California). On a business trip to California from Japan, Dan King met with Capt. Walsh to learn the old Marine wished to return a WWII souvenir he obtained while flying combat on Okinawa; a Japanese pilot's logbook (aka legboard). Capt. Walsh traded a bottle of whiskey for the bloodstained logbook from a group of "Mud Marines at Kadena who took it off a Jap pilot who crash landed his plane and shot it out with them."

He and Dan shared a common friend in Japanese aviation historian Henry Sakaida. It was Henry Sakaida who tracked down the dead Japanese pilot's former squadron Commander who in turn located the dead pilot's nephew. King met with the former squadron commander Mr. Atsushi Yoshida (below) and returned the legboard which is now housed at the Chiran Kamikaze Museum in Kyushu, Japan.

This Japanese WWII political cartoon is from a 1944 issue of the Japanese version of LIFE magazine called "Shashin shuho" (The week in photos). The Japanese were mocking the Americans for the string of seemingly effortless victories in 1941 & 1942. The set-up is a filmstudio in Hollywood and the men are attempting to create a photo depicting US planes sinking a Japanese warship. The caption reads, DIRECTOR- "Hey there, Cameraman, make sure you make this look real" CAMERAMAN - "Don't blame me, no one has ever seen a Japanese warship sunk before."

Written by Kipp Shiotani A play revolving around the emotions and circumstances of the tragic end to the lives of thousands of young Japanese aviators in the closing days of the Pacific war. The play's actors turned to Dan King for background information on the cultural climate of which the pilots found themselves in; and proper Japanese military etiquette.

World Premiere: February 5 - March 3, 2005

El Portal Forum Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blve.,
North Hollywood,
CA 91601

(866) 811-4111

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