WHEN Vietnam veteran Garry Heskett was going through some of his late father's personal belongings last year, he never thought it would start a journey of discovery.
On that day Mr Heskett found a rare WWII Japanese military 'body flag' made of silk similar in design to the Japanese flag with handwriting on it.
Mr Heskett's only clue as to what the body flag was or meant was a note handwritten by his father saying:
"Japanese body flag worn into battle by Jap Soldiers. Autographed by his family. Wewak. New Guinea 1944".
The body flag was a mystery.
"I never knew they did that, we never did it," the local rugby identity said.
"Sometimes we'd take a photograph of our family or our wife or our kids or girlfriend, sometimes a letter but we didn't carry body flags like the Japanese did."
Mr Heskett sent an email and a photo of the flag to the Japanese embassy but the writing in the photo wasn't clear enough to decipher the original owner.
With the help of Miss Shiori Naka who is a Japanese student currently studying at the Coffs Harbour campus of Southern Cross University, the identity of the original owner of the body flag was found.
The family of Hajime Kawanaka has been contacted and although wishing to remain anonymous have happily accepted Mr Heskett's gesture of returning the body flag.
It is likely the flag's origin will probably never be known.
"The question as to whether Dad shot him and took it off him or there was one of the bodies there and he took it off him, I don't know," he said.
The decision to send the body flag was an easy one.
If the situation was reversed, the veteran said he'd like to receive something about his father even though it's now 68 years since the Aitape-Wewak campaign.
"That could've been his Dad," he said.
"I don't know if it is but it would be nice to know if it came off his body. They could say 'this is Dad's, there's his name and there's the neighbours from the village all signed it and said good luck for the war'. So I think it's a very sacred thing."
This home has the 3 P's of Real Estate. Price, Presentation and Position. It has an affordable price, and the long time owners have lovingly maintained the...
You must get inside this large brick home and see how you and your family could be enjoying so much extra space. The hub of the home is the extensive open plan...
This is the first time this property has been offered for sale so don't delay on inspecting this genuine one owner home. It is nestled on a large fully fenced...
809 square metres. 3 Bedrooms Open plan kitchen ,lounge, and dining. Double carport. Two car shed plus workshop area. Fully fenced Short walk to Silkstone Primary...
Welcome to a very special home with a strong past, graceful presence and a secure future. Location is exceptional. 1860s Circa on two lots. Train Carriage retreat.
Oh so fresh and immaculate with new internal paint and love your extras! Low set, no stairs, easy living with limited maintenance with privacy and all your ...
10a Syntax Street CHARACTER, STYLE, 2 LEVELS BLUE CHIP LOCATION HOP, SKIP, JUMP to the best of Ipswich ! Two generations or one big family? Designed to embrace...
If you are looking for a fully renovated home with nothing to do then you've just found it. Renovations just completed include - New kitchen - New bathroom ...
89 Robertson Road Raceview BRING THE CARAVAN Yes! There is space for all the family plus the Man Cave or Teenagers get away. Essential internal stairs. Three...
Presenting a home you will be proud to own. Yes rear yard access! Lowset, low maintenance, well respected Brick home on 708 M2. Come home, put your feet up and...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.