WWII soldier gets Purple Heart decades after battle

Staff Sgt. John Sidur was carrying a comrade who had his arm blown off, along with another injured soldier, when he was confronted by two Japanese soldiers with their guns pointed straight at them.

He was confident they weren't going to shoot so he took the two soldiers he was carrying and dropped them off with other wounded soldiers. To avoid the rest of the madness surrounding him, which was a suicide attack known as the Banzai Charge, he quickly dove into a trench where he was met by another Japanese soldier with his gun drawn.

This Jap jumped up he must have been lying there " he jumped up on the top and he was pointing at me and then the other guy. Back and forth," he said. "I swear, they must have wanted to give up. Why they didn't shoot? They must have wanted to surrender."

The Japanese soldier was then shot by the soldier by Sidur's fellow infantryman.

"If he wanted to have killed us he could have killed us right away," he said. "They must have wanted to give up, but we didn't know."

The situation Cohoes resident Sidur, 92, and his fellow soldiers had found themselves in was a suicide mission by 4,000 Japanese soldiers carrying rifles, bayonets and grenades on July 7, 1944 during World War II. There were 406 American soldiers who were killed during the battle, along with 52 who were wounded, according to Sidur's nephew Bob Greene.

He said Sidur's unit had been in heavy combat three weeks prior to the Banzai Charge. The Japanese realized that they were not going to be able to defeat the large number of American forces during the battle after they had sent all their ships to fight in the Philippine Seas, said Greene. This left them with no reinforcement.

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