Jump to content

WWII Japanese Grenades from VMSB-331, SBD Rear Machine Gunner


Recommended Posts

As some of you may know, I put a classified advertisement into a local bi-monthly community news paper that I buy WWII militaria. Pickings have been slim lately, but I recently I hit a treasure trove of items from a local family of a WWII Marine Corp, rear machine gunner on the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber. He was a member of the VMSB-331 squadron that was based in the Marshall islands. I have this flyers log book and I can tell you he saw a lot of combat action in the Pacific Theater in the Midway and Marshal islands. I will be writing a detailed article about him, his exploits and the rest of the treasures I acquired from the family.

 

I am including some photos of the flyer and his airplane for reference here. I am posting here in the Spoils of War section, because when he returned from WWII, this flyer brought back three, inert and nice condition grenades in his foot locker. The grenades were a US MK2 pineapple hand grenade, a Japanese Type 97 hand grenade and a Japanese Type 99 hand grenade. For this topic, I have included a group photo of all three grenades, but of course will concentrate on the Japanese grenades. I have already posted a topic under the Firearms & Ordnance section about the nice MKII US grenade. I am a novice with the Japanese grenades and these are the first I have ever owned. The grenades seem to be complete with all of the fuze components. However, the type 97 grenade has a small piece missing from the screw on cast iron lid that the fuze screws into. Also, it looks like the detonator tube that screws into the fuze is missing, probably removed to inert the grenade and then the primer was popped. The Type 99 has the top part of the detonator tube still screwed into the fuze, but the end is deformed into a spherical shape. I suspect that the fuze was popped intact and the pressure of the detonator exploding caused the end of the tube to swell up before the detonator flame finally escaped. The type 97 also has a cardboard disk that remains trapped by the fuze tube bulge, which may have been used to keep the powder inside the grenade body in place.

 

I am not an expert on these grenades and welcome any comments or corrections that may come in from the forum members on this topic.

 

Bob

 

 

post-299-0-83188200-1584807667_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 3 Grenade Family Photo

post-299-0-48397600-1584807755_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of the Japanese Grenades

post-299-0-74585800-1584807845_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Type 97 Top

post-299-0-14064400-1584807933_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Type 97 Disassembled

post-299-0-60051700-1584808056_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Type 99 Disassembled

post-299-0-15982400-1584808124_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, I would throw up within minutes if I were flying backwards like that for sure. I will be posting some more photos and an article in the near future about this brave Marine.

 

Bob

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, Here is a scanned version of the original photo of Aloys on top and an addition photo of him below, standing on the right. BTW. The actual .38 revolver and holster he is wearing in the lower picture is still in the possession of his daughter.

 

Bob

post-299-0-48365100-1584809867_thumb.jpg

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bob. I love the photos of the Marine that you have with this group. I CAN'T IMAGINE BEING ONE OF THOSE BACKSEAT GUNNERS. Great little grouping!

Paul

 

Just watched the new production of Midway, I hear you on the backseat gunner comment!!

 

Great images!

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

donation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Collector, Interestingly, I am looking at the Aviators Flight Log Book of Aloys and he was stationed on Midway island and had his first combat mission on August 30th, 1943. His last combat mission out of Midway was on January 1st, 1944 doing a "Sub Escort". During this entire time he was in squadron VMSB-231 according to his log book. So he missed the big Midway battle, but made up for it later in the war. More info to come.

 

Bob

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just deciphered the time line for this flyer from all of the details entered into his flight log. His combat career lasted from August 30th, 1943 and ran to September 16th, 1945. During this time he flew 256 combat missions and logged 611.4 hours of flight time. Every one of these missions are recorded in the book with all pertinent details. He was based on Midway Island, the Marshall Islands and the Caroline islands. Lastly, he was a member of squadrons VMSB-231, VMSB-331 and VMSB-245. Stay tuned as I adequately try to document for posterity, the truly amazing war record of a brave hero of the aerial war in the Pacific Theatre, during WWII.

 

Bob

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.