Shoichi Yokoi - Guam Police Transcripts on Straggler

Tunnel Entrance
Yokoi's Home
in 1972
Hole of old cave
Hole of cave
in 1997

At 9pm, January 24, 1972, Roman Quinata, Guam Commissioner of Talofofo Village reported to the Guam Police Department that a japanese World War II Straggler was brought to his office by Jesus M. Duenas, 43 years old, and Manuel Degracia, 36 years old, both residents of Talofofo Village.

Lieutenant Mariano C. Cruz described the Straggler to be male about 5'6" tall, skinny, pale, appeared weak, short beard, hair roughly trimmed on the back, barefooted and dressed with dirty short pants and shirt.

Messrs. Duenas and DeGracia told the police that they were checking their shrimp traps around 6:30pm, Jan 24, 1972, when they spotted a person up a hill. As they surprised the person, the person dropped a homemade net sack containing shrimp traps and charged them. After the hunters subdued the Straggler, they covered him with their rifles and marched him to Commissioner's Office.

Duenas and DeGracia picked up the sack and traps and took the person to Duenas' ranch where they fed him before driving him to the Commissioner's Office.

While the person was being transported to Agana Police Headquarters, the Straggler related to Lieutenant Cruz that it has been thirty years since he left his home in Japan. That he came to Guam before the U.S. invasion. He was an Army Sergeant. He had been hiding at the area since the invasion with two other japanese Stragglers, but later they separated. "We dug a cave in a bamboo thicket, but after a few months our food ran out. The others moved to a new hiding place where there was more food. We visited each other." About 8 years ago, he found both of them dead. "I believe they died of starvation". That the pants and shirt he was wearing were made of local fibers (hibiscus bark) and he made them himself.
smoke blackened utensils
Smoke blackened utensils found in Yokoi's cave.

During the interview at the Police Director's Office on the night of 24 January 1972, by Honorary japanese Consul James Shintaku, he claimed his name to be Shoichi Yokoi, 58 years old, and he came originally from Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, japan. Other records showed that he had been drafted in Nagoya in 1941. He served with the 29th Infantry Division in Manchuria from 1941 until he was transferred in 1943 to the 38th Regiment in the Mariana Islands. Remnants of the unit, all but decimated on Saipan, were sent to Guam in 1944. Yokoi arrived on Guam from Manchuria in February 1943. Never been married and gave Mr. Shintaku several names of relatives, he hopes are still alive in Japan. He was an Army Sergeant, attached to Supply corps, when he arrived on guam. He had been living in his manmade cave for the whole time and they were originally ten of them. However, for the last 8 he has been alone and before that he was with his two companions that died eight years ago. He has known for twenty years that the war was over, but he was afraid to come out of hiding.


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