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This was packed in a post war China Marine grouping I picked up several years ago. I really don't know much about them but Eric Queen translated it for me and I believe Tiger41 will be doing a thread on them soon.....I think Eric said this one was named to a Army Comms school graduate

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Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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100% on what Eric translated for you. He was a member of the Imperial Army Air force and probably ended up in an 航空通信聯隊 Air Signal Regiment. The 2 columns on the right side (one is partial translation):

 

"Air" top right stylized kanji followed by 3 Hiragana

皇紀二 六 O (Koki) 2601 = 1941

陸軍航空通信 Army Air Signals

 

Great piece of history!

Edited by Rod
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Dirk,

Nice FOB.....Fob's are about the least known awards/medals associated with the Japanese. Most Japanese collectors haven't seen them or really know much about them. They were made by private manufacturers and privately purchased (for the most part). There were 100's of these FOB's, all different in one way or another. Graduation FOB's from a particular school like yours are the most common of the FOB's, but there were award FOB's, commemorative FOB's for certain battles like the fall of Singapore and the Philippines and the attack on Pearl Harbor and to commemorate the beginning of the war. There were also souvenir FOB's. Probably the reason most FOB's are not seen is that they were not allowed to be worn on the uniform...even when they were an aware purchased by the military and given to the soldier or sailor. They were worn or shown with civilian attire. They came in many motifs and designs depending upon the maker and they came in about 4 -5 general sizes and the quality was dependent upon what the buyer could afford. Your FOB appears to be a larger one. They were die struck and there is greater detail and a silver wash on some of the design elements. Some FOB's made later in the war are not this quality and also the owner's name is engraved on the back...most FOB's are not named to the owner. The skull is a little rare in the design but I have about 8-10 with a skull. What is unusual is the use of a navy round rate for advanced telegraphers school on the front. Can't say I have ever seen that on an army FOB....which for me is very interesting. I gave a presentation several years ago about FOB's to a Japanese collectors group and I still have a copy of it. I'll try and find it and make it available to anyone interested....I also have several pictures of some of my FOB's and I will try to put them up for all to see.Mr. Nakata's has his collection of FOB's pictured in his second book Pages 251-265. If anyone has Ray LaBars book on Japanese Bayonets, he has a picture of a bayonet with a FOB welded to it. As soon as the war ended the Japanese began making FOB's with US Flags and Mt. Fuji on them and with the saying on the back "In memory of my time in Japan 1945".

tiger 41

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Tiger41 fantastic write up on them! I had minimum knowledge of their existence and learned only a bit online. Your reply was very educational for me personally. I would very much like to see your presentayption you spoke of and if you do a thread on them here, please feel free to incorporate my photos if you would like. Bomb, skull, eagle, Navy rate, wreath, star, it seems like mine had just about everything added. Again thank you for the additional details on these!

Edited by Dirk

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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Dirk,

Glad you liked the write up...and happier it is useful to you. My presentation is short but has pictures and some good information ( at the time 10 years ago) If you can send me an email address, I'll scan and send you a copy along with some pictures of my current collection of FOB's. You have a great example....the use of the "pilots " badge on the front doesn't mean the owner was an airmen (pilot) more that he did something aviation related. The use of a navy insignia on the FOB is unusual ! These are great pieces to collect but difficult to find. You generally only find 1 or 2 a year....3-5 is a really good year. More then that then you have broken into my collection or you are working at our hobby way too hard ! There are several repros sold on ebay...be careful ! Your FOB proves that just when you think you have seen (or know) everything, someone comes along and proves you wrong. Thanks for showing your FOB....a great find !

tiger41

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Interesting topic. Almost a precursor to challenge coins.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

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As a side note...upon the fall of the Philippines, several FOB's were made for several small units to celebrate the Japanese victory. As the story goes, Gen Homma had Philippine coins re stamped into a medallion with the image of a Japanese soldier on one side. As I'm told the bronze coins were given to enlisted men and the silver coin to officers. Some collectors consider them as FOB's as several were fixed with a chain while others were just kept as a memento. Not particularly rare but sought after and interesting. Poor stamping often leave some of the original coin showing through.

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/24/2019 at 7:30 PM, tiger41 said:

Dirk,

Nice FOB.....Fob's are about the least known awards/medals associated with the Japanese. Most Japanese collectors haven't seen them or really know much about them. They were made by private manufacturers and privately purchased (for the most part). There were 100's of these FOB's, all different in one way or another. Graduation FOB's from a particular school like yours are the most common of the FOB's, but there were award FOB's, commemorative FOB's for certain battles like the fall of Singapore and the Philippines and the attack on Pearl Harbor and to commemorate the beginning of the war. There were also souvenir FOB's. Probably the reason most FOB's are not seen is that they were not allowed to be worn on the uniform...even when they were an aware purchased by the military and given to the soldier or sailor. They were worn or shown with civilian attire. They came in many motifs and designs depending upon the maker and they came in about 4 -5 general sizes and the quality was dependent upon what the buyer could afford. Your FOB appears to be a larger one. They were die struck and there is greater detail and a silver wash on some of the design elements. Some FOB's made later in the war are not this quality and also the owner's name is engraved on the back...most FOB's are not named to the owner. The skull is a little rare in the design but I have about 8-10 with a skull. What is unusual is the use of a navy round rate for advanced telegraphers school on the front. Can't say I have ever seen that on an army FOB....which for me is very interesting. I gave a presentation several years ago about FOB's to a Japanese collectors group and I still have a copy of it. I'll try and find it and make it available to anyone interested....I also have several pictures of some of my FOB's and I will try to put them up for all to see.Mr. Nakata's has his collection of FOB's pictured in his second book Pages 251-265. If anyone has Ray LaBars book on Japanese Bayonets, he has a picture of a bayonet with a FOB welded to it. As soon as the war ended the Japanese began making FOB's with US Flags and Mt. Fuji on them and with the saying on the back "In memory of my time in Japan 1945".

tiger 41

Here's an example of a Japanese FOB made for US troops in 1945.  This one for Yokosuka.  It's well made and very detailed.

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