One of my favorite types of WWII militaria are Japanese signed flags (they are called Yosegaki Hinomaru in Japanese) with capture history. There are lots of WWII Japanese signed flags available on the market today. If you look on the internet, there are dozens for sale at any one time. This is because they were one of the most popular souvenirs for WWII vets to bring back from the War. What is hard to find is a signed flag where you have iron clad documentation about the history of the flags capture and/or the Veteran that brought it back.
This flag came directly from the son of a 1st Raider Battalion Veteran and is part of a larger group that I own to that Veteran. When I got it, his son also included of photo copy of a newspaper article that ran in the Veteran’s hometown paper. The article shows the flag and also talks about it being captured on Guadalcanal.
Although I don’t read Japanese, certain phrases appear often enough on these signed flags that I do know the meaning of them. On this flag, in the right hand vertical column, where the characters are bold and large, from top to bottom the first 5 kanji characters say ” I pray your military fortunes are long lasting”, Ki Buun Chokyu in Japanese. This was a very popular phrase on signed good luck flags and appears on many of them.
Please note that I have also attached a photo of a piece of paper with Japanese writing on it that came from this same Veteran. I do not know what it says, if anyone can give me any kind of a translation, I would be most grateful and would love to update this article with that info. Also, if anyone can give me any help with the translation of the other writing on the flag, I would also be very grateful and would update this article with that info.
This WWII USMC Australian made uniform belonged to a member of the Marine 4th Raider Battalion and is part of a larger grouping that I own from this Marine. During the early part of World War Two, American made dress uniforms were impossible to acquire for Marines stationed in Australia and New Zealand. So these Australian made battle dress uniforms were obtained by the Marines. They were usually worn like this, with only a shoulder patch and rank insignia. Early in the war, Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGAs) collar insignia and ribbon bars are usually not seen in period pictures on these uniforms. The small twill Raider patch like the one shown, were often seen on Raider dress uniforms during the War.
The Marine that owned this uniform was with the 4th Raider Battalion from 1942 until their disbandment in early 1944. He was next transferred to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and he fought with that unit on Guam and Iwo Jima.
The letters and documents I obtained with this grouping tell a really sad story regarding this particular Marine and his family. He was wounded but survived while fighting on Guam, but his family was incorrectly notified that he was killed in action by the Marines. His parents believed he had been killed for a month and a half until they started receiving letters from him that were dated after the date that had been reported to them that he was KIA. There are several letters I have with him writing to his parents assuring them he was still alive. It looks like somebody just notated his file incorrectly.
Unfortunately, his parents had to go through this again just a few months later. They were notified in March 1945 that this brave Marine had been killed while fighting on Iwo Jima. This time the information was correct, he had been KIA. I can’t begin to imagine the pain his family endured going through this twice.
These WWII USMC P42 camouflage pants are part of the P 42 camo uniform that was used by the Marines during World War Two. The P42 uniform consisted of a camouflage shirt and pants made out of a herringbone twill fabric. The uniform is reversible. It has a green/jungle pattern camouflage on one side and a brown/beach colored camouflage on the other. The P42 uniform was later replaced by another camouflage uniform, the P44 uniform. Although the P44 uniform was made out of the same camouflage HBT material, the P44 was cut differently.
This particular pair of P42 pants are a nice original pair showing some period use and wear.
WW2 USMC Medal Grouping to a Former Marine Raider Wounded on Iwo Jima
This World War Two USMC Purple Heart and Bronze Star medal grouping belonged to a Marine who had been a Raider, but later transferred to the Ninth Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division. While with the 3rd Marine Division, he was wounded during the fighting on Iwo Jima.
Both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal are one of the correct styles, for these medals, that the Marines and Navy used during World War Two. The two cases are also the one of the correct styles used by the USMC and USN during the War.
The letter discussing the awarding of the Purple Heart and also the deformed bullet, were both found inside the Purple Heart case. I have had many groupings over the years, were Veterans kept the bullet or piece of shrapnel that wounded them as a souvenir. I am guessing that this is the case with this bullet, but unfortunately have no other information regarding the bullet.
WW2 USMC and USN Style of Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal
Back of WW2 Marine and Navy Style of Purple Heart and Bronze Star
Side View of USMC and USN Style of Bronze Star Medal
WWII Marine and Navy Style of Cases for the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart
Letter Awarding the Purple Heart Medal to a Former Raider Wounded On Iwo Jima