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Need help with Ike jacket find at flea market


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#1 Tonomachi

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:25 AM

I picked up this post war Ike jacket because I felt I would be able to identify the previous owner from the name tape off of a fatigues shirt that came with it at the flea market.  With the laundry number of B-5087 in the collar of the Ike jacket I was able to identity the former owner as Demetrio O Bersalona service # 39705087 (August 14, 1913 - Oct. 15, 1977).   The only issue I couldn't figure out was that he enlisted after WW2 on January 1, 1946 in Los Angeles, California yet he has the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment SSI sewn on the right side of his Ike jacket.  The 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment was disbanded in California in 1946 so I thought you had to be in combat with the particular unit to wear their patch on the right side (combat patch) of the uniform.  Based on left over stitching the Ike jacket is missing a pair of specialist 2nd class chevrons and years of service stripes on the left cuff.  I don't know if the wool overseas service bars belong on this uniform as I think it is on the wrong side and there were a number of nonmilitary patches that someone had sloppy hand sewn all over this uniform which I already removed.  He was not a US citizen when he enlisted in 1946 and the only other information I could find was that he immigrated to Seattle, Washington in 1930 at the age of 17.  I do not have a personnel listing for the 1st or 2nd Filipino Infantry Battalions. 

 

 

 

  

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#2 Tonomachi

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:26 AM

Photos

 

 

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#3 Allan H.

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 12:32 PM

One of the things you hve to remember about the NARA enlistment records is that they will also only list the soldier's reenlistment records and nottheir original records. USUALLY that 1946 enlistment record will have a nottion like "Enlisting for service in Hawaii: or a soldier's desire to be stationed in Europe etc. With a 1913 date of birth, he would have been 33 in 1946 and probably looking for a career after the war.

 

The SSI on the right shoulder would be for those soldiers serving as a Philippine Scout, as apposed to the red and yellow "caraboo"  patch worn by soldiers of the Philippine Division.

 

The European Communications Zone SSI and the overseas bars on the right cuff would make this a decidedly post WWII worn Ike. The number of overseas bars is consistent with a soldier who was in the Philippines when the island fell in the Spring of 1942.

 

Allan



#4 Garandomatic

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 01:20 PM

My Filipino Scout shows a 1946 enlistment as well.



#5 Tonomachi

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:04 PM

The NARA information does say under SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL, "Enlisted Man, Philippine Scout or recall to AD of an enlisted man who who had been transferred to the ERC."   I do not know what AD or ERC stands for but the mention of Philippine Scout fits.  So he probably served during the war as a Philippine Scout or as a member of either the 1st or 2nd Filipino Infantry Battalion of the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment.  Many thanks for this information.  



#6 Blacksmith

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:20 PM

AD = Active Duty. ERC = Enlisted Reserve Corps.

#7 Tonomachi

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:21 PM

AD = Active Duty. ERC = Enlisted Reserve Corps.

Thanks for the clarification.  



#8 jim46

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 06:48 AM

The chevrons on the fatigue shirt are those of a Specialist 5, the same pay grade as a Sergeant.



#9 aznation

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:00 AM

Source:  FamilySearch.org

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#10 aznation

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:00 AM

Source:  FamilySearch.org

 

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#11 aznation

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:01 AM

Source:  FamilySearch.org

 

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#12 aznation

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 09:02 AM

Source:  Fold3

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#13 Tonomachi

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:21 AM

Wow many thanks for this follow up information!



#14 aznation

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:32 AM

You're welcome.  -- Matt



#15 Tonomachi

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 10:45 AM

The chevrons on the fatigue shirt are those of a Specialist 5, the same pay grade as a Sergeant.

Thanks for the correction.



#16 Teamski

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 07:01 PM

Thanks for the correction.

 

 

Actually, it is a Specialist 2nd Class......

 

-Ski



#17 Tonomachi

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 06:58 AM

 

 

Actually, it is a Specialist 2nd Class......

 

-Ski

I just looked it up so I guess if you go by the date of manufacture for the Ike jacket then the missing rank is Specialist 2nd Class which was used from 1955 through 1959.  After 1959 through 1985 this same rank was changed to Specialist 5 which I guess is the equivalent to a sergeant.  I'm not sure when the US Army got rid of their Ike jackets for the Dress Green jacket but I think it was around 1957 or 1959.  I couldn't find a date for the fatigue shirt which is an early one with the squared off pocket flap corners and flat buttons.  I don't know when this fatigue shirt first came out but it had to be late 1950s to early 1960s.  The later period fatigue shirts of this same design had the clipped pocket flap corners and different fatter buttons with the last version having a "V" shaped pointed pocket flaps.  So I think you are right that these are Specialist 2nd Class chevrons.  



#18 manayunkman

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:07 AM

Excellent find!

#19 Ranger-1972

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 04:13 PM

On 26 July 1941, President Roosevelt issued a Presidential Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) calling "all the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines" into the service of the U.S. armed forces.  That same order promised U.S. citizenship and veteran's benefits to Filipinos who enlisted in the U.S. Army.  About 250,000 Filipinos joined the ranks.  Those living in the States were sworn in as citizens as soon as they enlisted.  Those who joined in the Philippines were promised their citizenship at war's end.  However, in 1946, President Truman signed the Rescission Act (Public Law 70-301), abrogating FDR's promise, declaring those who had joined the U.S. Army while living in the Philippines were not eligible for VA benefits.  This was not corrected until 1990.  

 

More than 1,000,000 Filipinos died during WWII -- many at the hands of the Japanese (during their conquest and occupation of the islands in 1941-44) and many at the hands of the Americans (during the reconquest of the islands in 1944-45).  In 1940, Manila was the sixth largest American city (the Philippine Islands, like the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, the Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, Wake and Midway were all U.S. territories at that time).  The battle to capture Manila in Feb-Mar 1945 resulted in that city becoming the most heavily damaged 'allied' capital of the war (worse by far than London, Paris, Moscow, The Hague, or Brussels).  During that battle, the U.S. lost 1,000+ KIA and 5,500+ WIA; the Japanese lost 16,000+ KIA; and there were an estimated 100,000+ Filipino civilians killed.  Many of those died due to Japanese atrocities during the battle, but many others were killed by U.S. artillery fire and bombing raids.

 

My dad participated in the campaigns on Leyte and Luzon, and was in Manila in 1945 preparing for the invasion of Japan when the war ended.  His photos of Manila at that time are staggering.  He said that he never saw a Filipino in Manila who smiled at an American.

 

If Demetrio Bersalona (who was living in Los Angeles in 1940) enlisted in the Army while in the U.S. in 1941-42, then he may well have become a U.S. citizen at that time.




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