Daily Archives: November 16, 2012

The WWII mystery photo

Yesterday, I posted this photo of and asked here, on twitter and facebook  hypotheses for some feedback  about the location and time it was taken.

Here’s the picture:

So, here’s the feedback I’ve received thus far:

#1:  WWII South Pacific, Japanese Soldier with Americans standing over him. My guess is the Iwo, but its only a guess.

#2:  Based on the M-1 Garand, the dried palm fronds littering the ground, and the uniform of the deceased, I’m thinkin’ it’s WWII in the Western Pacific: possibly Saipan, Guam, Okinawa, etc.  Those GI (or jarhead) boots look to be in pretty good shape, so it seems as though the end is near for the Imperial Japanese Army.

The winner (so far) however, goes to one of my reenacting compatriots.  Here’s his take:

I’m going to say Okinawa for a few reasons. To sum up the facts, we have a M1944 pattern canteen, an exclusively Marine item. The trousers are Army M1943 pattern. The first aid pouch is the 1st pattern M1923, which was used by both branches at various points but going by our established date, the Army had moved to cardboard packed Carlisle bandages by this point necessitating a larger pouch. The Marines were still using the earlier metal tins in 1945. The presence of Army trousers and late pattern canteen cover rules out Iwo Jima. At Okinawa, however, four Army divisions served alongside two USMC. This explains the mix of equipment. Given that both men are wearing Marine roughout boots, I would say they are Marines with bits of Army kit and not vice versa. Finally, two things about the rifle tell me this would specifically be the 6th Marines. M1 rifles show wear quickly in the forward gas tube, as this part is stainless steel and cannot be parkerized. Also, the M1907 sling typically issued with them are leather, which quickly rot in tropical environments. The sling seen here is fresh and new. Of the two Marine divisions on Okinawa, the 1st was a fairly battle weary outfit whose equipment would reflect this, while the 6th was fresh from the States, having been formed specifically for Okinawa, and therefore would have both the new condition weapons and new pattern canteen cover seen here.

Anyone know an expert in Imperial Japanese Army uniforms and want to take a crack at some of their specifics?