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Veteran Reunites With Japanese Love 70 Years After He Lost Her


Duane Mann, 91, finally finds Peggy Yamaguchi: „I’m here to tell you that I didn’t abandon you at all. I just couldn’t find you.“
A 91-year-old Korean War veteran has finally tracked down the woman he fell in love with almost 70 years ago, while he was stationed in Japan. Duane Mann has been torn up by grief and guilt for decades after fearing Peggy Yamaguchi believed he had callously abandoned her while she was pregnant with his child after he was shipped back to the U.S. The pair enjoyed an emotional reunion in Michigan this week after Mann launched a global media hunt to find his lost love, with help from his local TV station KETV Newswatch 7. The station’s reporter, a historian, and the pair’s grown-up children, all helped set up the meeting. The couple’s relationship began in 1954 when Mann met Yamaguchi while his unit was based in the Japanese city of Yokosuka. When Mann, who grew up on a farm in Woodbine, Iowa, got his orders from the Navy to ship out, the 22-year-old made Yamaguchi a vow that he would send for her so they could marry and bring up their child together. But Mann says that when he returned home, he discovered his father had spent all of Mann’s own savings, and Yamaguchi did not write to him. In fact, he later learned that his mother had burned the letters because she did not want her son to marry a Japanese woman. But he did eventually receive one letter from Yamaguchi—telling him she had lost their baby and married another man. Mann said: „It was over. That set in the idea that I abandoned her. [It] just wore me out. That’s not an honorable thing to do.“
In the first piece that KETV aired, about his search for Yamaguchi, he wept as Mann said the couple had enjoyed 14 months of courtship after they met at a dance club, where Peggy worked as a hat check girl.

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