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First Ever Search and Find! Wana Ridge, Okinawa

Article about: Hey everyone! I have been a member of this forum for a little bit of time and love the idea of recovering lost artifacts from battles in World War II. I'm an active duty U.S. Marine and I'm

  1. #1

    Default First Ever Search and Find! Wana Ridge, Okinawa

    Hey everyone!
    I have been a member of this forum for a little bit of time and love the idea of recovering lost artifacts from battles in World War II.

    I'm an active duty U.S. Marine and I'm currently "deployed" to Okinawa, Japan which was the bloodiest battle in the Pacific during the war. I jumped to the idea of doing my own research and talking with past diggers who know this area extensively. I chose Wana Ridge as my first place to go as it is a park and remains fairly intact compared to surrounding hills that were fought for during the battle.

    To make a long story short, we found what appeared to be a cave opening and jumped in. I stayed back inside sifting through some of the coral rocks while a few of my good friends went ahead to see how extensive the cave was. After moving a few rocks it caught my eye, a .45 ACP casing just laying there. I immediately picked it up and told everyone who seemed a bit jealous of my find but were definitely happy that someone found something.

    At first I was skeptical because it seemed in somewhat decent shape for sitting on a tropical island for 70 years. There was a "42" below the primer and a barely visible "W" on the top. After coming back to my room I did some research and low and behold the "42" stands for the year it was produced and the "W" is "WCC" for Western Cartridge Company.

    I am very confident this round was fired during the taking of Wana Ridge in 1945, and that is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. I have a piece of history, a casing (as small as it is) has a very unique and deep history to it and one can only imagine where that round went that was fired from it. I think that is incredible.

    Anyways just wanted to share with you guys! We plan to head back again with some better prepared equipment.



    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture NZf3OQI.jpg  

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    Thats Great, I recall the first fired casing I found near Lochnagar crater on the western front, The thought that the last person to hold the case had been fighting for their life nearly 100 years previously was quite overwhelming. Good luck with your future searches, Welcome to the forum and finally, Merry Christmas to you and your collegues.

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    Great find.


    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

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    Great find! But please be careful in those caves.
    What would you know about victory? I killed a she-wolf in her den, armed with only a knife. I escaped the Caughnawaga Indians who sought to burn me alive. And, I was the sole survivor of a shipwreck at the Battle of Havana. So you'll excuse me if I choose not to follow your advice." ―Israel Putnam speaking to a Continental Army officer at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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    Thanks guys. I know it's a relatively small find compared to a lot of stuff on here, but for me being a Marine and knowing the history we played in the Pacific, it's a huge deal. We will be headed back to hopefully find some more items, I will definitely keep you all in the loop!

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    Quote by GeneralPutnam View Post
    Great find! But please be careful in those caves.
    Absolutely. Today was a tight fit in some spots but we played it safe with a lot of other ones we came across.

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    Very neat find! The officer who swore me into the Army was a Marine Major (a very good family friend). He was stationed in Okinawa for a bit as well and has pictures of the stuff he found. I believe he actually found a Japanese knee mortar and some helmets but he donated it to a museum. Keep exploring those battlefields but be safe!

    T

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    Quote by Thaddeus View Post
    Very neat find! The officer who swore me into the Army was a Marine Major (a very good family friend). He was stationed in Okinawa for a bit as well and has pictures of the stuff he found. I believe he actually found a Japanese knee mortar and some helmets but he donated it to a museum. Keep exploring those battlefields but be safe!

    T
    I know exactly who you are talking about hah, Major Brenchley by chance? I talked with him about a year ago when I was here for the first time. GREAT guy and absolutely knows his stuff, I wish I could have been here when he was on island!

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    Talked via email. How in the world do you edit posts by the way?

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    Congratulations Friend...For a young Marine to find a past Marine's Relics from that epic battle is a special honor indeed, and a unique piece of Marine Corps History just for you...
    I've shared your story on FB with my fellow Army Brats, as we well understand the sentiment...Merry Christmas and Semper Fi...
    cheers, Glenn

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