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752nd Tank Bn w/ Japanese made scroll


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Before too many start suggesting that this is a fake, well, it's not. Japanese made insignia exists for units that served in theaters/areas other than on occupation duty in Japan, a great deal more than many collectors think. This scroll is another example. it was made because, for whatever reason, there was a need. A lot of WW II vets remained in the Army, choosing it for a career. Some of these vets ended up in Japan.

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Thanks for posting this, because I think you raise an interesting point about Japanese-made patches and scrolls in general. No doubt there were many postwar Japanese-made scrolls and patches to represent a wide range of units. I'm just not convinced that any of these particular scrolls were actually worn by any men of the 752nd Tank Battalion.

 

Being the historian of the 752nd, I have hundreds of photos of 752nd tankers in the postwar period wearing scrolls. There were some slight variations in design based on the photos I've studied, but for the most part they were remarkably similar overall. What the "as-worn" scrolls had in common was a more rounded edge, rather than the hard angled edges shown in this example. In addition, I have yet to see a photo of a 752nd tanker wearing a scroll with a "period" following the "BN" abbreviation, although I have seen this feature in items that were being labeled for sale as reproduction. I have also seen the angled edges and the period in some Indian-made scrolls that have popped up on eBay over the years, so I wonder if the Indian-made scrolls were "inspired" by the Japanese design you show here (or perhaps even vice-versa).

 

None of the 752nd went on to Japan, as the battalion was retained as a postwar occupation force in Italy until one company of the 752nd was absorbed into TRUST and the 752nd was deactivated. Eventually some of the TRUST tanks and men went onto Korea, but that was years after the 752 had been deactivated. If any 752nd tanker ever did go to Japan or anywhere in Asia, he would have been with another unit at that time.

 

I have no doubt that the scroll you show here could have been manufactured in Japan as a souvenir or as a collector's item, similar to the scrolled rubber "bullion" 752nd patches that were produced for collectors and enthusiasts after the war (one of my favorite items in my 752nd collection). I agree that we shouldn't be too quick to cry "fake" on the Japanese scrolls if they were in fact produced in the postwar era. However, in addition to the "real or fake" question, I think we also need to ask 1) who was the market for these postwar items (i.e., civilian collectors vs. PX's), and consequently, 2) whether or not any of these postwar Japanese scrolls actually made it onto the uniform of a 752nd tanker. In that sense, these scrolls may be quite "real" but at the same time not historically accurate in the context of a uniform that was once worn by a vet of the 752nd. Photographic evidence would help address the issue, but so far nothing like this has surfaced. I will definitely keep my eye out though as more photos are sent to me.

 

Thanks for posting. This actually does make me a lot slower to cry "fake" and at the same time it provides some new insights into the distinctive designs of other real (and also fake) patches and scrolls from Asia that I've seen over the years. Do you have any idea when the 752nd Japanese scrolls were produced, or in what quantity?

Bob Holt

752nd Tank Battalion

Historian & Webmaster

http://www.752tank.com

 

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Bob-

Interesting info, but I think you're reading a bit too much into the issue. Scroll is early Japanese Occupation era manufacture. And as Dave stated in the original post, "it was made because, for whatever reason, there was a need."

There are many legit original Japanese-made examples out there of right shoulder combat patches of units that never got anywhere near Japan. This is an example.

Kurt

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Kurt and Dave,

 

Sorry for any confusion or ill feelings, and I guess sometimes I do tend to over-think anything that relates to the 752nd. :)

 

Actually we're all in violent agreement about the fact that this scroll was made in Japan sometime during the postwar occupation and is therefore considered an authentic manufacture from a collector's perspective. I just thought it would be interesting to layer on some historical observations that might speak to the likely use of the scroll by the 752nd. It seemed reasonable to combine the two perspectives about production vs. use, without undermining what Dave was saying about the authenticity of the piece. No doubt that it is considered real, and I sure wish I had one to round out my 752nd collection!

 

Take care,

 

Bob

Bob Holt

752nd Tank Battalion

Historian & Webmaster

http://www.752tank.com

 

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Bob-

Interesting info, but I think you're reading a bit too much into the issue. Scroll is early Japanese Occupation era manufacture. And as Dave stated in the original post, "it was made because, for whatever reason, there was a need."

There are many legit original Japanese-made examples out there of right shoulder combat patches of units that never got anywhere near Japan. This is an example.

Kurt

 

Kurt, Dave or Bob: why is that there were so many Japanese made right shoulder combat patches of units that never went? I know it sounds like a dumb question, but some of us relatively new to patch collecting do not know about this.........thanks.

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One of the first uniform items that I ever drooled over was a shirt that was worn by the former XO of the 442nd RCT in WWII which he had custom made in Japan. The shirt had direct embroidered ribbons, collar brass, and a gorgeous hand embroidered 442nd RCT SSI on the right shoulder. Obviously, although the 442nd was made up of men of Japanese descent, the unit never deployed to Japan. The fact is that soldiers who served all over the globe in WWII served in other places after WWII. Since army regulations allowed for a "former wartime service" SSI to be worn on the right shoulder, there was a need for these patches to be produced in these areas. This is why German made Alaska Defense Command SSIs, and Japanese made 101st Airborne Division patches exist. Soldiers wanted to wear their former unit patch on their right shoulder, and didn't always have an old one to add to their uniforms.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Kurt, Dave or Bob: why is that there were so many Japanese made right shoulder combat patches of units that never went? I know it sounds like a dumb question, but some of us relatively new to patch collecting do not know about this.........thanks.

 

Marketing 101 - you can't sell what you don't have or offer - your customer will go to your competitor. As far as "never went", foreign tailors/seamstresses did not understand Army policy about right shoulder/left shoulder any shoulder, or what was worn where, geographically speaking - they copied insignia from a number of sources - so revisit Marketing 101 again.

 

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Editor, ASMIC's The Trading Post

ASMIC Executive VP

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Here's an interesting example that I removed from the right shoulder of a Korean War era 8th Army Ike jacket. Evidently the owner of the Ike previously served with the 12th AF in North Africa/Med during WW2. I think it's cool the way the Japanese manufacturer interpreted the center portion of the wings to be a Torii Gate.

 

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