A rear uniform with unauthorized Military Intelligence Occupation of Japan Patch on left pocket.
This Army Tech 5 “Ike” Jacket certainly must have belonged to a soldier with an interesting WWII military career. To backtrack some, lets begin with the Military Intelligence Occupation of Japan patch on the left pocket. This patch was created in 1945, an unauthorized patch that limited wear to local use only, thus the reason it was placed on the pocket. This unit was mainly comprised of Japanese American servicemen (Nisei), obviously able to speak the language, and also keenly aware of Japanese customs, and formalities.
Worn on the right shoulder (last combat unit) is the Western Pacific Army Forces patch, approved from 25 August, 1945, to 14 August, 1947. The headquarters for this unit was Manila, Philippine Islands; a support unit for U.S. X Army and all other forces in that immediate theater.
The left sleeve has the General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area. This unit originated in 1842, at Melbourne, Australia, having control over all U.S. Army and Allied ground, air and sea forces in that area.
Covering all patch data we might conclude this soldier moved around quite a bit in a short time span. The ribbon bars he wears suggest late entry into the war; not qualifying (or not wearing) any campaign star(s) on ribbon bar. Having stated previously the duties of the Military Intelligence Unit, and the last letter of his last name being an “L” stamped on the lining of the jacket, we know he was not Nisei (No L in the Japanese language). His duties however, had to support intelligence matters in most of the areas of the Pacific theater. Missing collar brass, would have helped determine a lot, but they had been removed sometime in the past.
Shortly after the Japanese surrendered, Allied forces began an exhaustive search for Japanese military and political figures being rounded up for war crimes. It is probable that this soldier was involved in that business, particularly ending up in this Military Intelligence unit stationed occupied Japan,
The Ike jacket’s 3 bullion patches are: GHQ-Southwest Pacific Area has a blue silk embroidered flag on tan cotton (possibly silk) twill, the flag has fine gold bullion threads forming the letters, “GHQ” in the center with double gold bullion threaded border, interrupted with single perpendicular stitch every about every 1/8 inch. A heavier quadruple gold bullion border is simulated on the outer patch perimeter. The bullion is lightly toned, and in fine condition. 2.5 inches. Japanese Made.
Moving to the right, a Western Pacific U.S. Army Force Patch was most likely made by the same maker, having the same constructed outer bullion border on the circumference. Red, and blue silk are directly embroidered to a fine white cotton (possible silk) twill. The blue embroidery is the same on the GHQ patch. And again, the fine gold bullion lightening bolt through the center star, is another verification of same maker. Fine condition. 2.5 inches, Japanese Made.
The Military Intelligence patch is a purple wool shield, with heavier gold bullion stars and Lion embroidered there on. Purple and Yellow (gold) are the colors of the Intelligence branch. Again, this patch is worn here, being an un-authorized insignia. The bullion shows darker toning, but all fine. 2 inches high. Most likely Japanese Made.
Rank, service bars, Meritorious Unit Citation patch (lower right sleeve) are all stateside machine made. The ribbon bars are; WWII Victory, Occupation, Good Conduct, Asiatic-Pacific Theater and American Defense ribbons (on pin back bars). A Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon over the right breast pocket. The soldier’s ID stamp, “L-0955.” The contract label in the inside right pocket is dated June 12, 1944.
Condition of the jacket is excellent, as are all of the additional insignia sewn and applied to it.
SHIRT AND TIE ARE PROPS ONLY -NFS.
A super piece.