The first eye witness account is from General Robert Eichelberger, Commander of the Eighth Army on Leyte as written in his book, “Our Jungle Road To Tokyo”
“There is a memento of this struggle now in the Military Academy at West Point. [General] Joe Swing gave it to me, and I sent it on from the Pacific.
“During the fighting on an airstrip, two ducking and dodging American GI’s – Allen W. Osborne and Eustis A. Jolly – were hand-carrying ammunition to the troops under fire. They noticed a large Japanese flag fluttering in a tree and, being incorrigible souvenir hunters, decided to acquire it.
“Each time they attempted to shinny up the tree, they were met by a fusillade of Japanese bullets. So they changed their tactics. They got an ax from their truck and while still under fire, chopped down the tree. That hard-won Japanese…
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