Item:
ON6294

Original Japanese WWII Battle of Okinawa Captured 381st Infantry Regiment USGI Signed Flag

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a Japanese WWII National Flag that was captured and signed as follows:


Pfc. H.A. ANDERSEN
CO. K. 381st INF.

The flag is cotton construction and measures 33 inches by 26 inches and is in very good condition with minor snags, small holes and stains. It also bears a US ARMY inspection stamp. The 381st Infantry Regiment were assigned to the 96th Infantry Division and were instrumental during the Invasion of Okinawa.

World War II combat chronicle
As part of the reorganization of the U.S. Army divisions from "square" to "triangular," the two infantry brigade headquarters were converted to provide personnel for other units and the 380th Infantry Regiment was disbanded. The 192nd Infantry Brigade headquarters company was converted into the division's 96th Reconnaissance Troop, while the 191st Infantry Brigade headquarters formed the core of the division's headquarters company. After initial training at Camp White in southern Oregon, the 96th Infantry Division participation in the Oregon Maneuver combat exercise in the fall of 1943.[2][3]

Maj. Gen. James L. Bradley commanded the 96th Infantry Division throughout its entire life in World War II. His Assistant Division Commander (ADC), Brig. Gen. Maj. General Claudius M. Easley (killed in action in Okinawa on 19 June 1945), personally supervised and emphasized the 96th Division's marksmanship training, leading to the 96th's nickname of "Deadeye Division".

The 96th Infantry Division trained in Hawaiian Islands, July to September 1944, before entering combat in an assault landing in Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, between Tanauan and Dulag, 20 October 1944. Enemy resistance in the beachhead area was quickly broken and the Division had advanced to and secured the Tanauan-Dagami-Tabontabon sector by 9 November after heavy fighting. The Division continued to wipe out resistance on the island, engaging in small unit actions, patrolling, probing, and wiping out pockets of Japanese. Chalk Ridge was taken, 12 December 1944, and major organized resistance was at an end by Christmas Day. The next 3 months were spent in mopping up, security duty, training, and loading for the coming invasion of Okinawa.

The Division left the Philippines, 27 March 1945, for Okinawa, making an assault landing on the island, 1 April 1945. The landing was unopposed and a beachhead was established near Sunabe, 1–3 April. Resistance stiffened considerably as the Division advanced to Kakazu Ridge, where fighting was fierce, 7–16 April. The 96th assaulted and cracked the fanatically defended enemy defense line, Tanabaru Nishibaru, 17–23 April, and after advancing slightly against extremely determined resistance, was relieved, 30 April, by the 77th Infantry Division. The Division trained and rested, 1–9 May, while elements mopped up bypassed enemy pockets and then returned to the offensive, 10 May, attacking and capturing Conical-Sugar Hill Ridge, 21 May, thus breaking the right flank of the Shuri defenses. Heavy rains the following week slowed down the advance. The offensive was resumed, 30 May, against weakening enemy resistance; Japanese north of Yonabaru-Shuri-Naha Road area were cleared out. Resistance stiffened again, 3 June, and Laura Hill was taken, 14 June 1945, only after a bloody fight; the last important Japanese defense position, the Yuza-Dake, Yaeju-Dake Hill mass, was secured by 17 June, and on 22 June all resistance was declared at an end. The Division patrolled an area from Chan to Ogusuku until 30 June.

After resting in July, the Division left Okinawa for Mindoro, in the Philippines, and engaged in a training program. The Division left the Philippines, 17 January 1946, for the United States.

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