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Dummy M1911 Pistol given to a member of the 160th Band, 40th Infantry Division after the raid on Pearl Harbor, TH


dmsusuki
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DSC00013.JPG.01a4cbc8848f3a0f170ea15ef4472891.JPGDSC00012.JPG.20987384aa32589351f17dc3f3732fc8.JPGDSC00011.JPG.fd50c145107e4eb6fdf3f5fe41862c77.JPGI was not sure where to place this post so I chose this particular space.  The soldier whose grouping this belongs will name anonymous for obvious reasons.  He was a Japanese American born in Seattle, Washington and was drafted before the attack on Pearl Harbor and was assigned in the 160th Band, 40th Infantry Division.  Immediately after the attack the 40th Division was mobilized and this soldier was given this weapon and ordered to guard Los Angeles - Long Beach Harbor for the impending attack by the Japanese Imperial armed forces.  After a few days and the realization that 40th Division had American "Japs" in uniform guarding important infrastructure succumbed to war time hysteria and a fear based on how unprepared the American armed forces and America actually were.  All Japanese Americans in the United States Army became pawns at the whims of politicians and the military hierarchy.  What do we to all these potential saboteurs and disloyal Americans?  Many were discharged and reclassified as enemy aliens eligible for the draft.  Others were shipped to the interior and placed under armed guard until the military found a solution.  The beginning of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was certified with FBI background checks [many] and the impressive record of the 100th Infantry Battalion [from the Territory of Hawaii] in training in the Territory and stateside.  Later in Italy its tremendous casualties they suffered fighting with the 34th Division would bring these two organizations together just north of Rome.  These prewar Japanese American soldiers who were still in service volunteered and became the training cadre of this new experiment called the 442nd Regimental Combat Team combined with the battle tested 100th Infantry Battalion would leave a legacy unmatched for a country who did not want them [or their families] or trust them.  

 

The Weapon - 

The weapon is a wooden training pistol with a World War 1 dated holster.  The maker of the hoster is G&K dated 1918.  This wooden training pistol is complete with  a metal magazine floor plate nailed to the butt and a lanyard loop placed behind.  The diamond panel grips are serrated half way up the panel and are attached by one screw at the bottom and pinned at the top.  The serrations end where is pistol flap covers them.  When the pistol is placed in the holster it looks pretty realistic.

 

The Uniform

The Eisenhower jacket with insignia was actually worn by this Japanese American soldier [he did purchase his pinks and greens].  The 442nd distinctive insignia are sterling silver [I have two different styles given to me by veterans] with separate pin assemblies soldered to the reverse.  He earned his conversion to Warrant Officer at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

 

In Conclusion

This veteran fought in four major battles of World War 2.  Married his sweetheart at Camp Shelby Mississippi and returned home used the GI Bill to earn his education and became a successful businessman.  He was also later in life honored by the Japanese Government for his honorable deeds in war and in peace.  I don't know how he brought the pistol home.  That would make another story.  The last picture are an assortment of 442nd RCT covers named too.  Sometimes overlooked by uniform collectors.  

 

thank you for reading

more is on the way

respectfully

dmsusuki 

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kaotikross

The least they could have done was painted it all black. Crummy way to treat what turned out to be patriots. I'm glad the story had a happy ending for this soldier.

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