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POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

Article about: Hello, the post link below I put in the Trench art section, and do not know if it was the right section, so am going to post it here to. Maybe someone could help with this ineresting item he

  1. #1

    Default POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Hello, the post link below I put in the Trench art section, and do not know if it was the right section, so am going to post it here to. Maybe someone could help with this ineresting item here.
    Regards, Steve

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/soldiers-t...ease-7793.html

  2. #2

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Steve-
    I owned a similar item many years ago. It was a British mess kit that had been issued to a young American who survived the Bataan Death March. I am sure the decoration of possibly the prisoner's only personal possesion was not only a way to pass time but also to identify his property. The one I owned came from a boyhood friend of the young man. Inside the lit were a set of wood dog tags that evidently had been given to the young man upon his liberation in Japan. I was told after the war, this soldier was a witness at the trials dealing with the Bataan Death March.
    He never recovered his health and died several years after the end of the war. I was very uncomfortable owning the item as it was given to me after I purchased a Japanese sword from the gentleman I obtained it from. It gave me very bad feelings and eventually, I gave it away to someone I thought would appreciate it.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  3. #3

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Hi Bob, thanks for the story. I didn't know you were so sensitive If it made you feel better giving it away, I hope it went to someone who preserves it.
    I was given this kit from a friend who bought it at a garage sale. I would never give it away. I feel I am saving it, and the former owner/owners are happy with me.
    It could have been bought by the Father of a little kid, who was going camping, or to summer camp. Then it would be lost, stolen, or trashed maybe. Obvious the sellers at the garage sale did not give a damn about it, and my friend who gave it to me didn't either.
    I also have a Japanese sword, a shin-gunto with tassle etc. I really do not get any strange feelings like our friend Richard.
    I do ponder where, and by who all my items/weapons were used and their true histories. Your kit was very interesting with the traceable history and tags etc. That is the type of thing I think belongs in a museum, for all to see, for hopefully eternity. No one should forget about Bataan. This kit falls in that catagory also I think. This kit is one of my favorite WW2 items. My whole life very interesting WW2 things have found there way towards me to be saved! I have many more. I am the curator.

    I have tagged a lot of my items with the stories and history of them, in case something happens to me, which will, just do not know when. This kit I also put a paper inside with info on it.
    All of us on this forum are all just temporary curators of ALL these items we banter about. I am still looking for a Hurst with a luggage rack, or maybe with a small trailer I have not seen one yet. I will keep everyone updated on the search.

    Did you know what county this kit is from, or even if it is a military issue item?

    Regards, Steve

  4. #4

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Steve-
    Let me relate to you the rest of the tragic life of this young man. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He fell deeply in love with a young woman who rebuffed his affections. In his depression, he joined the Army in 1940 and ended up in the Philipines. On the back side of the mess kit, the young man carved a portrait of his lost love along with her name. Underneath the picture, he carved the words "California here I come," which was the name of a popular tune from the 1930's. At a later date, following that entry, he engraved the word "When?" These words always got to me and they were the principal reason for me handing off this piece of history.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  5. #5

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Hi Bob, I know the tune very well. I was born and raised in Santa Monica Calif. I moved here to Florida 21 years ago w/ my now, ex wife. My family is still all there, except my Father, a WW2 vet, he passed in 2001.
    Anyway, I still would not have given it away. Thats just me though. I might have if I knew the person/collector would take care of it as I would. Or If they just had to have it, and bothered me enough. Your story is one of thousands and thousands of heartbreak stories. The connection to Bataan is quite special though. Anything to do with the Bataan march, or Japanese POW's is a very powerful thing, and will evoke many different emotions from many different people. They were not very nice people as you know.
    I am sensitive, and have respect about these types of items also, but.....
    Do you happen to have any pics of it, and the other items? I would like to see them if you have any.

    There was, and is no "Florida here I come" tune as far as I know, do you? I will have to work on one. Although, not enough syllables I think.

    Regards, Steve

  6. #6

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the piece. This was many years ago. I gave it to a long time collector friend who is now deceased. Therefore, I have no idea where it is today. I really felt a lot of bad ju-ju with the piece and did not want to have it in my home.
    On another subject, I was the caretaker of the cremated remains of a Japanese Army soldier who died in New Guinea. These I took care of for a few years. I always felt a great piece during my temporary custodianship. After much persistance, I was able to locate his 86 year old widow. She had never remarried and they had four children who were all alive. I was able to return the remains to his family. This is an occurance that seldom happened to many Japanese families who lost husbands and sons.
    War is horrible and those who have not experienced it have no idea what it really is like. The little guys always pay the ultimate price so that the rich and powerful in their country can become more so.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  7. #7

    Default Re: POW Mess Carved Mess Tin?? Japanese POW/ Dutch

    Hi Bob, that is unfortunate, I wonder where it all is now. See???
    Your other story of the IJ soldier remains is a great one. That family has great respect for you, and will forever. Just knowing in your own mind what you did did is priceless.
    I do not know about your statement of the little guys. Everyone had something at stake in that war.

    You are correct again, War IS hell on earth. My Fathers Father, my Grandfather was a Capt. in the Army Med Corp. in the ETO, and was over there at the same time my father was. He was also 46 years old when he enlisted, and they made him a Captain. He had a private medical/surgery office in Los Angeles where I am from. He saw some of the worst of the worst I am sure, being at field hosp. etc. He told my father and his brother, (my uncle, still alive) just a few stories of his experiences. He did not talk much my father said. He died in 1962 when I was 4, so I never had a chance to speak to him about the war.
    I just found, and am gathering all photos and correspondence from him and my Father, T5 US Army. There are quite a few. My Dad helped win the war & kill the enemy with his typewriter!! I will post the pics. Maybe the forum would be interested to see my family WW2 pics.

    Regards, Steve

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