Minnesota WWII veteran returns Japanese sword he took as souvenir

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Spectators describe the ceremony at Como Park in Saint Paul Saturday as "very moving." One of them sent us this picture.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin has the story of 94-year-old Orval Amdahl, of rural Lanesboro, Minn., who plans to give a sword he took as a souvenir while serving in Japan during World War II back to its owner – 70 years later.

Amdahl acquired the elegant weapon as a Marine captain who fought on the Pacific islands and helped oversee the occupation of Japan, the newspaper reported. He long considered the sword just a souvenir, and he tenderly cared for it. But a lingering question nagged at him – the sword at one time had belonged to someone ... who?

Amdahl tried to track its owner on his own, but without success, the Post-Bulletin reports. Then an author working on a book about atomic bombs interviewed Amdahl. She eventually used her contacts in Japan to help Amdahl track down Tadahiro Motomura, a grandson of the officer who once owned it. Amdahl plans to hand the sword to Motomura in a Sept. 21 ceremony at the Japanese Garden at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, with local and Japanese dignitaries in attendance.

Amdahl's story is familiar. KARE 11 last month had the story of Doug Rachac, the grandson of a World War II soldier who had a Japanese flag he took as a souvenir, which Rachac eventually returned to its original owner.

A 92-year-old WWII veteran in Illinois is also trying to find the original owner of a Japanese flag he took from the body of a sniper nearly 70 years ago.

Next Up

Taylor Rogers

Twins Rumors: Taylor Rogers could draw interest despite injury

The left-hander was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.

E7WFMKZUcAIbzNf

Severe storm watch: Apple-sized hail, 75 mph winds possible

A watch has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.

Related

WWII veteran, Twin Cities business owner finally receives H.S. diploma

After 70 years, a World War II veteran from Fargo, N.D., can call finally call himself a high school graduate. Teddy Wong, who was drafted into the Army during his junior year of high school, was given an honorary diploma Saturday in Fargo. Wong is the owner of the longest family-owned business in Roseville.