"don't think too much about it, because I may well show up again after a few years."
Given what happened with this man, that turned out to be an understatement. Onoda was assigned to Lubang Island, to "lead the Lubang Garrison in guerrilla warfare." The objective: "to hamper the enemy attack on Luzon." Onoda was directed to destroy both the airfield and the pier at the island's harbor; he was further tasked with destroying enemy planes and killing the crews "should the enemy land" there. His final orders, however, were that he was "forbidden" to kill himself:
" It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens we'll come back for you. Until then, so long as you have one soldier, you are to continue to lead him. You may have to live on coconuts. If that's the case, live on coconuts! Under no circumstances are you to give up your life voluntarily."
|from Semantic Scholar|
Onoda leaving the jungle with former commanding officer Tanaguchi after he'd officially relieved him of duty. From Rare Historical Photos