Lt. Hiroo Onada was a Japenese soldier during world war two. He took part in guerilla-style warfare which involved ambushing the enemy and damaging facilities. He lay in hiding for many years. When he was going to his post he agreed to never surrender to the enemy, never resort to suicide attacks and to withstand all enemies until help arrived. He took these promises to heart. Despite the war ending in 1945 he continued to believe in his fight for 29 more years.
Lt. Onada refused to believe the war was over and any attempts to tell him otherwise were met with disbelief. Only in 1974 when his former superior visited him to tell him with no uncertainty that the war was over and ordered him to stand down did he agree. Even then he says he believed his superior would quickly tell him it was a trick and give his real orders. New orders never came, the war was over and Lt. Onada stood down.
He was not alone in his efforts. He and three soldiers were stationed in Lubang and refused to give up. However, the three others died over the thirty year period so, in the end, he was alone. His family and officials tried on numerous occasions tried to tell him to stand down but he would not listen. He would continue to attack facilities and local residents for the full 30 year period.
The solider only died recently, in 2014, after a long life. He lived in Brazil and raised cattle and opened a school in Japan. He said he had no regrets of the 30 years as they were part of his life and the man he would become. It does make you wonder why his superior took 30 years to visit him. If he had just visited after the surrender could a lot of time have been saved?