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An amazing piece of WW2 history. In all of my years of collecting WW2 artifacts and weapons this is one of the coolest items I ever found. Frankin J. Marble was a Technician Class 5 in Battery B of the 146 Field Artillery of the 41st Infantry Division. The 41st Infantry Division, nicknamed the “Jungleers” was activated on September 16, 1940 from the National Guard Division of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. It served in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War and participated in the New Guinea, Southern Philippines, and Papuan campaigns.
After the fall of the Philippines, the division began training for the attack on Japan itself, but surrender came first. The division did move to Japan where it occupied the island of Honshū for a few months. This is probably where T/5 Marbles aquired this flag. The 41st Infantry Division was inactivated at Kure-Hiro, Japan on 31 December 1945.
World War II casualties
- Total battle casualties: 4,260
- Killed in action: 743
- Wounded in action: 3,504
- Missing in action: 13
This flag is an original and authentic Japanese silk flag intended for use as a “Hinomaru Flag” or prayer flag. You see many of these for sale with Japanese kanji, or character writing, signed by relatives and friends. Many included slogans or salutations for the soldier. Japanese soldiers generally carried their Hinomaru Flag with them at all times, folded and wrapped around their waist. After the surrender of the Japanese, the 41st was assigned to the occupation of Japan. Franklin likely aquired this flag in Japan at that time. The flag is inscribed with the date “1945”, lists all of the 41st Division battle honors in carefully inked script, and includes Marbles’ name, rank and serial number.
It measures approximatley 26″ x 36″
I have not researched Franklin J. Marbles and it will be interesting to try and learn more about this soldier and his service. I will leave that up to you.
A wonderful, and one of a kind, piece of US WW2 history. Resembling the tradition of Northern and Southern troops during the Civil War to paint their “Battle Honors” on their flags, this is the only US WW2 flag with battle honors that I have seen. Authentic, unique, rare, and historic. This would look amazing framed.