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History and Heritage

Our Father's Flag

One family's journey to find a flag missing for more than 60 years.

Jerry Landrum and his family have been searching for their father's flag for nearly 50 years.

Dennis Landrum was one of the many prisoners of war (POW) held at the Aomori prison camp in Japan during World War II. The POWs wanted a flag to greet their rescuers when they were liberated at the end of the war. Using a bed sheet and colored pencils, Dennis and the other prisoners painstakingly created what would represent the symbol of their freedom.

Dennis' son Jerry was afraid the flag was being stored in an attic or by someone who may not have realized the significance of what the flag represented. In April 2013, Jerry called Allison Russell, a curator at the Naval History and Heritage Command, and together they located the flag tucked away in an off-site storage, beautifully preserved.