Archives receives flag captured in historic World War II battle
William Issac Jr., shown with his mother, was interviewed by a newspaper after he returned from World War II on leave with a Japanese flag he captured in battle. PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES AND HISTORY CENTER
PLANT CITY Betty Bush considers her World War II veteran dad a hero and wanted to ensure that a souvenir he collected in battle could be viewed by generations to come. Bush, a 68-year-old retiree, recently donated a tattered, bullet-riddled Japanese flag her father captured on Guadalcanal to the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center. William Henry Isaac Jr., at the time an Army machine gunner, obtained the flag during a firefight in January 1943 on Guadalcanal, one of the war's bloodiest battlefields. The Schenectady, N.Y. resident, who died in 2004, killed a sniper who was hiding in a tree.
The sniper was wrapped in the flag, which had messages written in Japanese. The messages were well-wishes from the sniper's fellow soldiers. Isaac received two campaign stars for his actions on Guadalcanal and in New Georgia in the Solomon Island group as part of the Allied island-hopping campaign that helped bring down the Japanese empire. He served in the Army from 1939 until 1944 and worked in security for General Electric until he retired. Bush said she occasionally visited the archives and history center over the years and decided to donate the flag because she felt it would be appreciated and displayed. The flag is part of the veterans collection at the center, 106 S. Evers St. The flag is a historic treasure, center Executive Director Gil Gott said. "It's unlike anything we've ever had. We welcome it into our collection," he said. Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib firstname.lastname@example.org (813) 394-5103