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USN LIGHTERS Zippo, Penguin, Vulcan, Prince Rocky, Ronson, etc.


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#1 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 07:15 PM

Aloha Everyone,
 
Many of us collect Naval lighters, not only Zippo brand, but also Penguin, Vulcan, Prince Rocky, etc.  They're great mementos of service aboard ships and stations of the US Navy worldwide and typically have outstanding crests and insignia on both sides.  Many are presentation pieces from Admirals, Captains and Commands.
 
Feel free to post any and all USN lighters you may have in your collections here.
 
I've also never smoked a day in my life, truly a nasty and disgusting habit.......

Attached Images

  • USN Lighters 001.jpg

Edited by Salvage Sailor, 23 December 2017 - 07:15 PM.


#2 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 07:32 PM

NAVFAC CHICHI JIMA, Bonin Islands, Prince Rocky lighter  (nice website by a former USN Medical Officer stationed there  http://members.tripo...ck/index-3.html )

 

A small naval base had been established on Chichijima in 1914. The island was the primary site of long range Japanese radio stations during World War II, as well as being the central base of supply and communication between Japan and the Bonin Islands.  As behooved this status it had the heaviest garrison in the Nanpo Shoto. According to one source: "At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor an Army force of about 3,700-3,800 men garrisoned Chichi Jima. In addition, about 1,200 naval personnel manned the Chichi Jima Naval Base, a small seaplane base, the radio and weather station, and various gunboat, subchaser, and minesweeping units." The garrison also included a heavy artillery fortress regiment,  it was a frequent target of US attacks. A young George H. W. Bush was shot down while on one of these raids. In 1944, all of the 6,886 civilian inhabitants were ordered to evacuate from the Ogasawara islands. Japanese troops and resources from Chichijima were used in reinforcing the strategic point of Iwo Jima before the historic battle that took place there from February 19 to March 24, 1945. The island also served as a major point for Japanese radio relay communication and surveillance operations in the Pacific, with two radio stations atop its two mountains being the primary goal of multiple bombing attempts by the US Navy.
 
Chichijima was also the subject of a book by James Bradley entitled Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, a factual account of the lives of a group of young World War II pilots, including George H. W. Bush. The book tells the story of United States Navy pilots who bombed the island's two radio stations, and details the stories of the US pilots who were captured, tortured, executed, and in some cases, partially eaten in February 1945.
 
The island was never captured and at the end of World War II some twenty-five thousand troops in the island chain surrendered. Thirty Japanese soldiers were court-martialled for class "B" war crimes, primarily in connection with the Chichijima incident and four officers (Major Matoba, General Tachibana, Admiral Mori, and Captain Yoshii) were found guilty and hanged. All enlisted men and Probationary Medical Officer Tadashi Teraki were released within eight years.
 
At least two US citizens of Japanese descent served in the Japanese military on Chichijima during the war, including Nobuaki "Warren" Iwatake, a Japanese-American from Hawaii who was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army while living with his family back in Hiroshima.  
 
The United States maintained the former Japanese naval base and attached seaplane base after the war.  The island was returned to Japanese sovereignty in 1968

 

Attached Images

  • Lighter NAVFAC CHICHI JIMA B.I. Prince Rocky 001.jpg
  • Lighter NAVFAC CHICHI JIMA B.I. Prince Rocky 002.jpg
  • Lighter NAVFAC CHICHI JIMA B.I. Prince Rocky 003.jpg

Edited by Salvage Sailor, 24 December 2017 - 03:26 PM.


#3 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 03:22 PM

Seal of the Emperor of the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands (T.T.P.I.) in the post WWII era

 

US NAVAL FORCES MARIANAS - Crossroads of the Pacific, Agana (now Hagatna), Guam Territory

Ligher made by Penguin

Attached Images

  • Lighter US NAVAL FORCES MARIANAS Penguin 002.jpg
  • Lighter US NAVAL FORCES MARIANAS Penguin 001.jpg
  • Lighter US NAVAL FORCES MARIANAS Penguin 003.jpg

Edited by Salvage Sailor, 24 December 2017 - 03:25 PM.


#4 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 03:41 PM

Operation Crossroads - Castle - Hardtack etc. - The Atomic Tests at Eniwetok Atoll

 

JOINT TASK FORCE SEVEN - Army Navy Air Force AEC (Atomic Energy Commission)

Lighter made by Penguin

 

Eniwetok is a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands. U.S. forces defeated Japanese forces on the island in February 1944. After World War II, the area became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and was administered by the United States. The spelling of the atoll's name was changed to "Enewetak" in 1974. The U.S. government conducted more than 40 nuclear tests there between 1946 and 1958, and the first test of the hydrogen bomb took place there in 1952. The smaller islands listed on the lighter were evidently also test sites. Penguin-brand souvenir lighters were made in Japan and given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

 

Attached Images

  • Lighter JTF 7 ENIWETOK ATOLL 001.jpg
  • Lighter JTF 7 ENIWETOK ATOLL 002.jpg
  • Lighter JTF 7 ENIWETOK ATOLL 003.jpg


#5 pzjgr

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 06:28 PM

I'll have to get some pics of my Dad's, I have all of his....they are all Penguin, I believe...

 

He was an RD2 attached to COMSVTHFLT, so he served aboard the St. Paul (CA-73), the Oklahoma City (CLG-5), and provenance (CLG-6)...and finally the Interdictor (AGR-13) his last year in, out of Treasure Island.

 

As all the Flagships were homeported in Yokuska, they had to buy Japanese stuff, so all their lighters were Penguins. He said even if they had to buy things like typewriters, etc, they had to be Japanese...in any case, none of his were Zippo's...

 

I always liked lighters, very cool examples...I have picked up a few in addition to my Dad's, but thus far have avoided a full on collection....

 

I don't know why, but it keeps saving USS provenance as provenance....this is crazy...it will not save Prov idence (with no space, since it just keeps changing it....


Edited by pzjgr, 24 December 2017 - 06:31 PM.


#6 hbtcoveralls

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:07 AM

Not really a Navy collector myself,  but I picked up a collection years ago.

 

I sold off most of them but I kept two that I really liked 

 

USS New Jersey and USS Missouri new in the original Zippo boxes

 

The New Jersey has nothing on the back but the Missouri has a replica of the plate that marks the spot where the surrender was signed in 1945 ending WWII

 

Thanks for looking

 

Tom Bowers

Attached Images

  • phpLYbkgyAM.jpg
  • phphjHThUAM.jpg
  • phpF1crrpAM.jpg


#7 viking73

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 08:26 AM

Those two BB lighters are pretty great Tom, thanks for sharing.

-Derek

#8 Charlie Flick

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

Salvage Sailor:

 

Neat lighters.  I have a few Naval lighters as well, mostly aviation units but a few others also.  I will post some of them as time permits.

 

This one is from the Ship Repair Facility at Guam in the Mariana Islands.  Nothing on the back side.  The maker is a little obscure, O.S.C. of Japan.

 

Ship Repair Facility Guam OSC Japan034.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie



#9 Charlie Flick

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 06:51 PM

Shifting to an aviation unit, this lighter was for a Navy Attack Squadron, VA-214 known as the "Volunteers".   It is in pretty much unused shape and was made by PRINCE of Japan.  

 

VA-214VolunteersPrinceJapan035 ed.jpg

 

With Zippos it is usually easy to date the lighter because of the date codes on the bottom of the lighter.  However, the Japanese makers did not use any such codes, as far as I can tell, so dating a particular lighter can sometimes be difficult.  This one was easy as it turns out that this Squadron was only in existence from October 1956 until August 1958, when it was disestablished.  Based at Moffett Field NAS in California it flew 3 different attack aircraft during its very short history:  The FJ-3 Fury, the F9F-8 Cougar, and the FJ-4 Fury.

 

VA-214VolunteersPrinceJapanback036.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie



#10 Charlie Flick

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 07:42 PM

We now head to the Fleet.  This lighter, marked as made by "Commercial Products Co." of San Diego, CA, was for the USS Bennington CVS-20.  It was an WW2 Essex class carrier that was modernized for jets and converted to the anti-submarine role.  Its designation was changed from CVA-20 to CVS-20 in 1959.   It served in that role until it was decommissioned in 1970.  This lighter's CVS-20 marking thus dates it to sometime between 1959 and 1970.

 

USSBenningtonCaptHealyCommercialProductsCo037.jpg

 

The Big Benn arrived in the PTO in early 1945, participated in combat operations against the Japanese empire and her air group overflew Tokyo Bay at the surrender.  Post-war it assisted in the US space program but perhaps is most often remembered for a tragic 1954 accident on board that killed 103 crewmen in a catapult explosion.

 

Salvage Sailor mentioned that lighters like this were often gifts from a commanding officer to a visiting dignitary.  Indeed, this lighter is marked on the back side "Presented by Capt. C.E. Healy".  Capt. Charles Edward Healy was the CO of the Bennington from September 1962 to September 1963, so that helps to further narrow down the time frame of this lighter.

 

USSBenningtonCaptHealyCommercialProductsCo038.jpg

 

That's Capt. Healy below in an official Navy portrait.  I would bet that he has one of these Bennington lighters in his pocket.

 

CaptChasEdwardHealyCOUSSBenningtonCVS-201962-63.jpg

 

BTW, I don't smoke either.  Never have.  It is a pretty nasty habit, but for some reason I can't quite articulate I do like these old military lighters.

 

That's all for tonight.  I will post a few more down the road.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

 



#11 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 07:44 PM

Outstanding Charlie,

 

Thanks for taking the time to share the research as lighters do 'tell a story' in regard to Naval service and often are one of the few items to remain once an obscure or short lived unit is gone as illustrated by VA-214.

 

Looking forward to seeing more from the membership.

 

Aloha

 

Here's another Atomic Veterans Prince lighter in the standard "Zippo" type case from JTF 7 which has doubtlessly been in and out of dungaree and khaki pockets for years

Attached Images

  • Lighter JTF 7 ENIWETOK ATOLL Prince 005.jpg
  • Lighter JTF 7 ENIWETOK ATOLL Prince 004.jpg


#12 pzjgr

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:17 PM

My Dad's 2 St. Paul lighters...

 

 

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  • 20171225_155000.jpg


#13 pzjgr

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:19 PM

His COMSEVENTHFLT, Interdictor, and provenance Prov idence lighters....

 

What word does this program think it is, that it autocorrects and won't let you spell it out????

Attached Images

  • Light1.jpg

Edited by pzjgr, 26 December 2017 - 06:20 PM.


#14 Plankowner

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:06 AM

This is my Zippo lighter that I bought when I went aboard the ship.  The blurred area above the printing was a stylized plank of wood with the word PLANKOWNER on it.  I wish I had bought a dozen of them.  As you can see, this lighter served me many years.

 

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  • IMG_3455rs1.jpg


#15 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:07 PM

Gator Freighters.....

 

Presentation lighter from Commander Landing Ship Flotilla One, Vietnam War

Made by Ronwal

Attached Images

  • Lighter Landing Ship Flotilla One Ronwal 001.jpg
  • Lighter Landing Ship Flotilla One Ronwal 002.jpg
  • 01 Landing Ship Flotilla One 001a.jpg


#16 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

Gator Freighters.....

 

One sided - Commander Landing Ship Squadron Three, Vietnam War

Marked Penguin, High Quality, Sharp Lighter (this is the smaller "Zippo" type)

Attached Images

  • Lighter COMLANSHIPRON 3 Penguin 001.jpg
  • 03 Landing Ship Squadron Three 001.jpg


#17 Charlie Flick

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

You guys have some wonderful lighters.  I especially like that Enterprise Plank Owner's lighter. Can't be many of those still around.

 

Regards,

Charlie



#18 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:30 PM

Gator Freighters.....Operation Double Eagle Vietnam

 

Attack Transport USS SKAGIT (AKA-105) Amphibious Squadron Five - Presentation lighter from Joe E. Chamblis, Capt, USN (Commanding Officer 28 November 1965 - 10 December 1966) Made by Prince "Rocky"

 

On 23 August 1965, Skagit deployed to the Far East and remained there until 14 May 1966. This was not to be a peacetime cruise as during the past decade. The United States was committed to the defense of South Vietnam, and the services of Skagit were required for combat operations. On her way west, she carried cargo and Marines to Okinawa. Between 13 November and 8 December 1965, she delivered two loads of cargo from Okinawa to Da Nang. In January 1966, Skagit embarked combat cargo and combat-loaded marines at Okinawa in preparation for an amphibious landing. On 28 January, Skagit, as a unit of Task Group 76.6 made an assault landing near Thach Tru in southern Quảng Ngãi Province, in Operation "Double Eagle." Twelve amphibious force ships landed 5,000 United States Marines against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese there. On 16 February, the ship proceeded to Chu Lai to unload her remaining cargo. In early March, she returned to Okinawa for another load of cargo and, upon her return to Vietnam, spent the remainder of the month shuttling supplies between Da Nang, Phu Bai, and Chu Lai.

 

Attached Images

  • Lighter USS SKAGIT AKA 105 Prince Rocky 1965 001.jpg
  • Lighter USS SKAGIT AKA 105 Prince Rocky 1965 002.jpg
  • Lighter USS SKAGIT AKA 105 Prince Rocky 1965 003.jpg


#19 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:48 PM

Gator Freighters.....

 

Attack Transport USS WINSTON (AKA-94) "The Surf Gators" - Single sided slim case "Zippo" type made by Commercial Products of San Diego

 

Winston earned seven battle stars during the Korean War and another seven battle stars for service during the Vietnam War.

Attached Images

  • Lighter USS WINSTON AKA 94 Commercial Products of San Diego 001.jpg
  • Lighter USS WINSTON AKA 94 Commercial Products of San Diego 002.jpg
  • AKA 94 USS WINSTON 005.jpg


#20 pzjgr

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 03:20 PM

Oh, and the back of my dad's St Paul Far East Cruise lighter....my bet is it wouldn't be allowed now....

#21 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

Also being an OI Division "scope dope", I really like that lighter.  Thanks for posting it.



#22 Charlie Flick

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

Here is another presentation lighter, this time a Penguin brand marked from the Commander of Carrier Division Three.  I have not been able to find much information on CarDiv3 from the 1950-70s time frame.   I understand that at that time a carrier division was usually two carriers operating together.  

 

CommCarDiv 3 Penguin.png

 

USS Oriskany CVA-34 was part of CarDiv3 in 1956.  At that time the Commander of CarDiv3 was RADM Ira Hobbs, an Annapolis grad from the class of 1925.   He was aboard the Oriskany in 1956 along with his staff.   Here is a better view of the CarDiv3 insignia.  The Latin expression "In Mundo Optimum" translates to Best In The World.

 

CarrierDivision3c1961Insignia.jpg

 

The back side of the lighter bearing the 2 star flag of a Rear Admiral.

 

CommCarDiv3 back.jpg

 

I can't be sure that RADM Hobbs was the ComCarDiv3 when this lighter came into being, but I'd like to think so.  He had a good career with a number of combat commands in WW2.  He was also a naval aviator and a recipient of the Silver Star in 1943.  The image below shows him in the early 1950s.

 

AdmiralHobbsComCarDiv3.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 



#23 Charlie Flick

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 02:42 PM

Now, back to a Squadron lighter.  This time it is a Konwal "Baby" smaller size lighter which I think dates to the late 1960s.   It is for Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, known as the "Sun Kings".   This squadron was established in 1967 and is still operating today.    When first established it flew the E-2A Hawkeye aircraft.  It had three Far East deployments in the late 1960s.

 

VAW-116 Sun Kings Konwal Baby.png

 

The insignia of the Sun Kings is described as "a solid maroon circle behind a white and gold sun with a fasces in the center, above a gold banner with "VAW-116" written on it in maroon".

 

Carrier_Airborne_Early_Warning_Squadron VAW-116.png

 

Here is a nice view of a VAW-116 E-2A Hawkeye landing on the USS Coral Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1967.  Looks like he is about to catch the number 3 wire.

 

E-2A_of_VAW-116_landing_on_USS_Coral_Sea_(CVA-43)_c1967.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie


Edited by Charlie Flick, 30 December 2017 - 02:43 PM.


#24 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 03:21 PM

Here is another presentation lighter, this time a Penguin brand marked from the Commander of Carrier Division Three.  I have not been able to find much information on CarDiv3 from the 1950-70s time frame.   I understand that at that time a carrier division was usually two carriers operating together.  

 

attachicon.gifCommCarDiv 3 Penguin.png

 

USS Oriskany CVA-34 was part of CarDiv3 in 1956.  At that time the Commander of CarDiv3 was RADM Ira Hobbs, an Annapolis grad from the class of 1925.   He was aboard the Oriskany in 1956 along with his staff.   Here is a better view of the CarDiv3 insignia.  The Latin expression "In Mundo Optimum" translates to Best In The World.

 

attachicon.gifCarrierDivision3c1961Insignia.jpg

 

The back side of the lighter bearing the 2 star flag of a Rear Admiral.

 

attachicon.gifCommCarDiv3 back.jpg

 

I can't be sure that RADM Hobbs was the ComCarDiv3 when this lighter came into being, but I'd like to think so.  He had a good career with a number of combat commands in WW2.  He was also a naval aviator and a recipient of the Silver Star in 1943.  The image below shows him in the early 1950s.

 

attachicon.gifAdmiralHobbsComCarDiv3.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice Charlie,

 

The Carrier Divisions were redesignated Carrier Groups in 1973.  Here are the COMCARGRU 3 patches from that era.  Somewhere around here I have the Division 3 patch too.

 

Keep them coming members, Aloha

Attached Images

  • COMCARGRU 3 001.jpg
  • COMCARGRU 3 003.jpg

Edited by Salvage Sailor, 30 December 2017 - 03:22 PM.


#25 Plankowner

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:35 PM

Here are a couple of lighters I picked up at the 50th anniversary party they had on the ship in 2011.  One is brass the other is chrome and never been used but in the photos they look grubby.

Attached Images

  • IMG_3480rr.jpg



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