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Bob Mecl, who has owned this Japanese “Yosegaki Hinomaru,” or good luck flag, for decades, enlisted the help of Toshimi Krogmann in finding its rightful owner. With hours of investigation and determination, plus a dose of good luck, the flag will be returned to the original owner’s family in Japan. (Photo by Sarah Young)

A mystery solved; local family seeks to return Japanese war relics home

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Bob Mecl’s dad gave him two World War II-era Japanese flags when he was 5 years old. Now in his 60s, he has held onto them ever since. But now he says it’s time for them to go home.

Mecl’s dad worked at Allis-Chalmers (a U.S. machinery manufacturer) in West Allis, when he was given the two Japanese flags by a co-worker friend who was a U.S. Marine, Mecl said.

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Sarah Young
Sarah Young joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News. She covers primarily Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. Before working at the New Richmond News, she was an assistant manager at Philander's Grill & Bar in Prescott. She lives in Prescott with her 2-year-old daughter Carolina.  
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