Original U.S. WWII 322nd Military Police Escort Guard Company Field Desk From The Manzanar War Relocation Center - With Armband & Bludgeon

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. Manzanar is the site of one of ten American internment camps, where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II from March 1942 to November 1945. It is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California's Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, approximately 230 miles (370 km) north of Los Angeles. Manzanar means "apple orchard" in Spanish. The Manzanar National Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States, was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the ten former camp sites.

Since the last of those incarcerated left in 1945, former detainees and others have worked to protect Manzanar and to establish it as a National Historic Site to ensure that the history of the site, along with the stories of those who were incarcerated there, is recorded for current and future generations. The primary focus is the Japanese American incarceration era, as specified in the legislation that created the Manzanar National Historic Site. The site also interprets the former town of Manzanar, the ranch days, the settlement by the Owens Valley Paiute, and the role that water played in shaping the history of the Owens Valley.

The desk, which measures 20 x 20 x 11 when closed, belonged to an officer of the 322nd M.P. Escort Guard Co which is how the stenciling is on the top of the desk. Below the stenciling is two crossed flintlock pistols. The desk is in lovely,fully functioning condition with almost all paint still intact. There is minor wear present but that is expected with these field desks. There is no significant damage present. The blue wool armband features a white MP designator stitched in white on the face. The band appears to have never been stitched together but there is minimal mothing present on the lettering. The wood nightstick bludgeon is in solid condition with minimal cracking and no significant damage.

This is a wonderful opportunity to add historical items to your collections. Comes more than ready for further research and display.

In early May 1942, the first persons of Japanese ancestry began to arrive at the relocation centers operated by the War Relocation Authority from the assembly centers administered by the Wartime Civil Control Administration. By June 5, when the movement of evacuees from their homes in Military Area No. 1 into assembly centers was completed, the transfer of evacuees to relocation centers was well underway There were, however, two exceptions to this phase of the government's evacuation program — Manzanar and Poston. Both camps had been established initially by the Army as "reception centers" to serve not only as assembly centers but also as permanent relocation centers. The former, which is the focus of this study, had been opened as the first assembly center by the WCCA on March 21 but was transferred to the WRA on June 1 to become an officially-designated relocation center. As the government's evacuation program continued, provision for the external security of both the assembly and relocation centers by military police units was developed by the Western Defense Command.

322nd Military Police Escort Guard Company, June 1942
During June 1942, the 322nd Military Police Escort Guard Company, was transferred to Manzanar, replacing the 747th which had provided external security at the camp since March 19. Most members of the military unit were recruits from New York and New Jersey. Like the members of the 747th, most of the recruits in this company had no prior experience with Japanese, and for many it was their first glimpse of Japanese.

On July 8 Sergeant George Reed of the 322nd suffered severe burns on his right arm and leg as a result of a gas tank explosion at the military compound at Manzanar. He was taken to the Manzanar hospital and placed under the personal care of Dr. James Goto. It was anticipated that he would be a patient in the hospital for several weeks.

A more complete and in depth look at the camp can be found at this link.

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