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Bloody flag bought home from Betio Tarawa


ArchangelDM
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ArchangelDM

This is quite a remarkable flag bought home by a US marine, sailor, soldier from that short but extremely violent 3 day Day invasion of Tarawa. 
 

Standard rising sun flag that’s been bought home from Betio, and signed at the top. The flag was clearly taken after the Vet was deceased and it looks to me like this was maybe worn on an Arisaka rifle and could have been in a Bonzai charge, speculation on my part but as there is no signatures I’m guessing this was used like this. 
Also due to the sheer amount of Blood on it I would say extremely close quarter combat. 
 

 

- Dean 

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ArchangelDM
41 minutes ago, Tom Kibler said:

One worth framing.  Well done.


Thanks Tom 

I think I’m going to frame it in the coming weeks 

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patrick_usmc

Incredible artifact. It's something to think about the reality of where that flag has been. Thanks for sharing it.

 

Patrick

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ArchangelDM
4 hours ago, Kurt Barickman said:

What is the name of the vet?

 

Kurt


Sadly not, I believe signed and written got mistyped 

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manayunkman
11 hours ago, Kurt Barickman said:

What is the name of the vet?

 

Kurt

A lot a things getting posted without the required vet provenance.

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268th C.A.

I think its obvious that this was a bring back. What else is needed ? 

Regards 

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manayunkman
Just now, manayunkman said:
7 minutes ago, 268th C.A. said:

I think its obvious that this was a bring back. What else is needed ? 

Regards 

The rules of this subforum a very clear.

 

The item must come from a specific person and you must have proof.

 

 

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Blueprint

Wow! Stunning and gruesome! 
 

I am also speculating that this was not a flag carried by a soldier in his pocket but more likely on an Arisaka etc. 

 

Incredible find! 

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ArchangelDM
8 hours ago, Blueprint said:

Wow! Stunning and gruesome! 
 

I am also speculating that this was not a flag carried by a soldier in his pocket but more likely on an Arisaka etc. 

 

Incredible find! 


Thankyou 

also it would make sense for this kind of action on Betio Tarawa, I believe Tarawa had one of the biggest bonzai charges. 
what makes this flag also historical and special is Of the 4,500 Japanese defenders, there were only 17 survivors left. Most fought to the death as there was no way to escape the island. 
 

 

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Blueprint

I guess that there were many bonzai charges rather than one huge one. This one occurred on Saipan. But as the whole island was swept by the Marines there was stiff close quarters combat. So it might be also a flag which was inside a bunker etc. 

 

 

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Alan Schaefer

Blood is known to be highly corrosive to cloth material over time, and it looks like it is causing the fabric of the flag to deteriorate in several places.

 

It's unfortunate the provenance of the Marine who brought this back is lost to time.

 

Nice acquisition, congratulations.

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Smokeshow
On 8/15/2022 at 4:36 AM, manayunkman said:

The rules of this subforum a very clear.

 

The item must come from a specific person and you must have proof.

 

 

For my own education, what constitutes proof? Bring back inspection tag ?  What if you have an item that is part of a larger bring back group with no tag on it? Just post the whole bring back lot at once? 

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manayunkman

Read the rules.

 

But it probably doesn’t matter because they aren’t being enforced.

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vintageproductions
5 hours ago, manayunkman said:

Read the rules.

 

But it probably doesn’t matter because they aren’t being enforced.

Dean- Nice flag but it is not a Rising Sun flag it is just a Japanese National flag.

 

Just by the inscription it is almost a guarantee that it is a bring back, just too bad Vet's name is lost.

 

Not sure what rules are not being enforced but this post is fine.

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manayunkman
1 hour ago, vintageproductions said:

Dean- Nice flag but it is not a Rising Sun flag it is just a Japanese National flag.

 

Just by the inscription it is almost a guarantee that it is a bring back, just too bad Vet's name is lost.

 

Not sure what rules are not being enforced but this post is fine.

I’m fine with it

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ArchangelDM
13 hours ago, vintageproductions said:

Dean- Nice flag but it is not a Rising Sun flag it is just a Japanese National flag.

 

Just by the inscription it is almost a guarantee that it is a bring back, just too bad Vet's name is lost.

 

Not sure what rules are not being enforced but this post is fine.


Thanks VP

and yes you are right, it’s a national flag not a rising sun flag
 

I wish I had his details as it’s history is one I would have liked to have kept and shown here. 

 

 

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Kurt Barickman

Very small banzai night charge on Betio against 1/6; no big one there.

 

Kurt

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ArchangelDM
3 hours ago, Kurt Barickman said:

Very small banzai night charge on Betio against 1/6; no big one there.

 

Kurt

The Fight for Betio Island 
Betio is the largest island in the Tarawa Atoll. At the time of the battle, this long, narrow island held a Japanese air strip, as well as the majority of Japanese troops in the Gilberts. By November 1943, more than 2,500 Japanese soldiers defended it, along with some 1,000 Japanese construction workers and 1,200 Korean forced laborers. In the year prior to the battle, these laborers worked to construct and enhance the defensive capabilities on Betio. Pillboxes were designed to offer clear lines of fire against approaching enemies from the shore, and defensive shelters and a network of trenches were positioned throughout the island’s interior.

On the morning of November 20, following a naval bombardment, the first wave of Marines approached Betio’s northern shore in transport boats. The men encountered lower tides than expected and were forced to abandon their landing craft on the reef that surrounded Betio and wade hundreds of yards to shore under intense enemy fire. When the Marines reached the beach they struggled to move past the sea walls and establish a secure beachhead. By the end of the day, the Marines held the extreme western tip of the island, as well as a small beachhead in the center of the northern beach. In total, it amounted to less than a quarter of a mile.

The following day, U.S. forces pushed inland toward the airstrip positioned in the island’s center and continued to work to secure the beaches. Marines have the greatest success on the western beach (codenamed Green Beach), where naval gunfire enabled the Marines to quickly secure a beachhead. When the Marines began to advance east the next day, supported by two borrowed Sherman tanks, Japanese machinegun nests impeded the advance. Even so, on November 22, continued American pressure from the north and west pushed most of the remaining Japanese defenders into a small area east of the central airstrip. That night, the Japanese consolidated for a banzai-style counterattack against the Marines. The American line wavered, throwing in every last reserve, including cooks and administrative staff, but the line held.

In the early morning hours of November 23, the Japanese launched a second, a third, and then a fourth banzai charge. Again, the Marines fought to hold the line, and again they pushed the Japanese back. These attacks were the last organized Japanese effort to throw the Americans off the island. By then, the only remaining Japanese resistance on Betio consisted of small pockets on the island’s eastern side. 

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ArchangelDM

Sounds like the 4 banzai attacks on Betio where pretty substantial ! 

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ArchangelDM

Either way as the vets name is lost to time we will never know exactly what happened , all we know is this flag was at that battle. 
 

But I do have a Naval helmet from Tarawa with all the Vets provenance that I can post up. He was with the US navy and luckily wrote all his details in the helmet. That’s a cool one I will do some shots of tomorrow. 
 

 

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