Product Description: This Japanese Gas Rescue Team Armband is seldom-seen example of a wartime armband from the Pacific Theater. It’s made of two layers of white fabric, machine-stitched together on all four sides. There is a narrow, printed red line that runs the length of the armband. Above and below this central red stripe, are eleven printed black characters that identify this as a gas rescue team armband of the Keneda Village Police Corps. This is for a WWII Fire Brigade, which was made up of Army and civilian personnel. The short sides of this Japanese Gas Rescue Team Armband originally had four metal eyelets, through which ties could be passed to affix this to a team members’ arm. Only one of the metal eyelets remains, the others having been lost to time. The armband shows honest age, and appears to have been worn. It has even toning to the white fabric throughout, as well as some darker staining to some areas on both sides. There is also one moth nip to note. Overall, this scarce Japanese Gas Rescue Team Armband remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Imperial Japanese Army numbered 1,700,000 soldiers in 1941. By August, 1945, this number had swelled to 6,095,000 men. During the course of the war, these men were sent to areas of operations that spanned a huge part of the globe, including the Mongolian border, Hong Kong, the Phillipines. Thailand, Burma, Dutch East Indies, and Malaya. These soldiers were issued a wide variety of uniform and equipment items. They had specialized footwear, helmets and other headgear, and different types of uniforms intended for the varying (and often extreme) climates in which Japanese soldiers fought. As with all of the major combatants of WWII, the Japanese also had special insignia to identify ranks and roles of individual soldiers, as well as decorations to reward soldiers for their service and achievements. American soldiers who fought in the Pacific Theater avidly sought Japanese items as souvenirs, and they collected not only flags, weapons and helmets, but items of personal equipment and even personal items of Japanese soldiers. Today, all aspects of WWII Japanese Army uniforms, insignia, equipment, and awards, remain collectible historic items.
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