Original U.S. WWII USMC Japanese Mine Training Aid Set

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. This Mine Training Aid Set No. 2, Japanese consists of a wood transit chest with metal hinges and latches holding several WWII U.S. made inert Japanese explosive devices for use as training aids. This kit was designed for issue to Engineering units, in order to prepare men for the task of dealing with Japanese ordnance in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.

NOTE: A nearly identical set, in similar condition and completeness, sold for $3450 at Rock Island Auctions in 2012, you can see the listing at this link.

The box exterior measures approximately 39” long by 13” wide by 6” high. Everything weighs around 40 pounds. The interior is compartmentalized and holds the various training aid devices and their components. This particular training mine set retains the original descriptive poster glued inside the lid showing the set components and their marking translations. As is stated in the War Department Technical Bulletin TB ENG 79 manual, the training mine sets were intended ”to familiarize troops with the recognition, arming, disarming, and disposal of Japanese mines.”

The ”authorized distribution” listing in the TB ENG 79 manual on page 4 indicates that only 592 sets were available for distribution, meaning this is one of fewer than 600 sets ever made.

Major wartime training centers at Fort Belvoir, Camp Claiborne, Fort Leonard Wood, and Fort Lewis were each assigned at least 100 of the training mine sets.

The set interior shows how well the training aid components are organized inside the wood box. The following Japanese training mine devices are included:

- Type 93 anti-tank mine

- Magnetic mine

- Type 3 land mine

- Yardstick mine

- Type 97 hand grenade (which could be used as a mine). This is not included.

- Various training aid mine fuzes and other items are also included (three fuses in a set of 4 is missing)

A diagram affixed to the lid of the training mine set shows the components and a translation of the various markings and tags for the individual training aid devices. The mine set training aid components retain their paper inscription tags which are translated on the mine set inside lid diagram. There are two unused compartments in the box — One below the training Type 97 hand grenade, and one to the right of the training Type 3 land mine fuze. A comparison of the training mine set lid image showing the removed elements and of the training mine set image in the TB ENG 79 manual shows that this particular training mine set is missing a few fuzes, type 97 grenade and the manual.

The training Type 93 anti-tank mine, its attachment rope, and its training fuze are
placed on the left side of the box. The training yardstick mine is placed at the bottom of the box and runs its full length. Four training fuzes for the training yardstick mine are placed just below the training Type 93 anti-tank mine training fuze.

On the right side of the box is the training magnetic mine with its training fuze installed. The training Type 3 land mine training fuze is just below the training magnetic mine. Space for the War Department Technical Bulletin TB ENG 79 manual is provided in the box between the training Type 3 land mine and the training magnetic mine.

In the center of the box is the training Type 97 hand grenade (missing) and the training Type 3 land mine.

The following quote from TB ENG 79 provides a good general description of the training mine set: The mines in the set have been manufactured to resemble real Japanese mines as closely as possible. Enough of the moving parts have been incorporated in the mines and fuzes of the set to give proper instructions in arming and disarming of the various mines. All mines and fuzes are inert. Several of the mine cases have been designed so they can be filled with soil or sand to simulate the weight of the actual mines. The mines are tagged with instructions for handling, reproduced in Japanese characters. Training should include brief recognition and translations of Japanese inscriptions.

With an assumed late war manufacturing period and the subsequent end of hostilities, the training mine sets probably did not see much actual use as training aids. Some of them may not have been used at all, as some rare examples, such as this one, are found complete and in very nice condition.

This is a rare opportunity to own a complete excellent condition Japanese WWII mine training set!

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