Original U.S. WWII Era China Marine Cigar Case with Dragon Motif Decoration
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely Cigar case from the WWII Era, which has a very attractive Dragon Motif on the lid. The case measures approximately 5"H x 2 2 1/2", and is made of silver plated brass. It is designed to hold three regular size cigars. We purchased this at a military show, and the collector indicated it was purchased long ago from a Marine who was stationed in China during the WWII Period.
The case has lost a lot of the silver plating, but is quite attractive, with a functional spring catch. Ready to display, or even use!
More on the U.S. Marines Stationed in China
After the outbreak of war, the 5th Marines deployed to Wellington, New Zealand in June 1942. During World War II they fought on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Eastern New Guinea, Peleliu and Okinawa. Immediately following the war in September 1945 they deployed to Tientsin, China and participated in the occupation of North China until May 1947. They were redeployed to Guam in May 1947 and reassigned to the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. In 1949 they were relocated to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The term China Marines, originally referred to the United States Marines, of the 4th Marine Regiment, who were stationed in Shanghai, China from 1927 to 1941 to protect American citizens and property in the Shanghai International Settlement, during the Chinese Revolution and the Second Sino-Japanese War. Those Marines stationed at the embassy in Peking and the consulate in Tientsin referred to themselves as North China Marines.
Due to the cheap labor available, China Marines lived a relatively comfortable lifestyle, with each squad able to hire Chinese men to do its cleaning and run its errands. This, plus the inexpensive goods available on the local market, made assignment to the China Marines highly coveted.
Most of the China Marines were withdrawn in November 1941, but the North China Marines in Peking and Tientsin were scheduled to be withdrawn on December 10. (All weapons and ammunition except rifles and pistols had been crated and shipped by rail to the embarkation port.) However, Imperial Japan attacked the United States on December 7, and the Marine Embassy guards, plus a fourteen man Naval medical detachment, a total of 203 men, were captured and held as slave labor until the war's end in August 1945. A 204th man, a retired officer who had been living in Peking and recalled to duty, was immediately released. He continued living in Peking until he was included in the roundup of civilians and sent to the Weihsien civilian internment camp in March 1943. He was returned to the states on the exchange ship Teia Maru in Sep 1943. The last commander of the China Marines was Colonel William W. Ashurst.
With the rapid expansion of the Marine Corps during World War II and the capture of the rest of the 4th Marine Regiment at Corregidor, the surviving China Marines were few in number and highly regarded.
After Japan's surrender, the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions, also known as China Marines, were sent to occupy northern China from 1945 to 1948.
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