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Cave relics

Article about: Good stuff!

  1. #1

    Default Cave relics

    Some of my Japanese collection. These items were given to me by a Marine veteran who recovered them from a cave during the Iwo Jima battle. Of particular interest is the homemade water bottle and good luck talisman kept in a waterproof cigarette holder. It has a cut lock of hair inside. Other items are metal and wooden dogtags, toothbrush, sewing kit, fuse of some kind, a Spanish American era US spoon, saki bottle, a bugle picked up in Saipan, wrist compass, religious bell, chop sticks, and Navy marked bowl.

    The grenades pictured are not part of this Marine's pickups. He served on Iwo Jima in tanks and was the father to a girl I went to high school with. He went through the war landing in the Marshalls, the Marianas, and the Bonins. His platoon commander later became the governor of Oklahoma...lending great confusion to all of us as children when once a year our classmate would be featured in the local newspaper sitting on the lap of Oklahoma's governor.

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  2. #2


    You have some really nice items there , thanks for showing them , i like the amulet and dogtag

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  3. #3


    Interesting artifacts.

  4. #4


    A fascinating "snap shot" of history from a hard fought battle. Thanks for posting these items ,Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5


    Well...everyone likes this post so I ll post the rest of my Japanese collection to go with it. The flag was a gift from a neighbor who recovered it from a night battle on Saipan. He was my neighbor in the early 90s in Virginia. The writing are all wished of good luck from fellow students, teachers, and friends before this young man when to war. He was killed...that is his blood staining the flag. The knee mortar is deactivated and displays with the bomblets it used. The rifle with the inscription on the stock was naval training rifle. The canteens, pistol, and other gear were part of the veterans collection of the cave items. He was at the Marshall island invasions or Roi, Namur, Kwajalin, and Eitiwetok. It was here that during mop up operations a satchel charge was thrown into the main Japanese Navy torpedo storage. He witnessed and felt this explosion which produced a mushroom cloud, pushed a wave away form the island, vaporized a platoon of Marines, killed any more and wounded dozens and dozens. He also witnessed the suicides on Saipan and carried a short barreled browning a five shot gun in his tank which he used once.
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  6. #6


    You have a very nice collection of Japanese military items friend. I really like the knee mortar and rounds.

  7. #7


    Great items.

    I like that Nambu.

    BTW its 'Eniwetok' Atoll (as it was known as back then).

  8. #8


    The knee mortar is great.
    Fantastic collection.

  9. #9


    Very nice collection! The purple youth flag (青) is back to front -- turn it over for a better display. This is the flag of a Youth School called in Japanese "Seinen Gakkou," was modeled after the German Volksschule system.

    AzaKanatake Seinen Sho Bundan
    Aza Kanatake Youth Elementary Section


    Kanatakamura was a village from 1899 ~ 1960 when it was absorbed into Fukuoka City.


  10. #10


    That flag was brought back from Okinawa....that is all I know about it. I was told it was to do with civil defense or some type of home defense...but I haven't ever had it translated...and even forgot to mention it in this post.

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