Japanese “Meatball” flag captured by 6th Marines, Mortar Section

One of the coolest items in my collection. This captured flag was signed by the members of the 1st Battalion, B.Co., 6th Marines, 2nd Mar. Div. Mortar Section! The names of the battles they participated in have been written on the “meatball”, the places where they stayed around it.

Close up of the flags center:

On the top left corner you can see some Japanese characters (upside down 😉 ). The only part i could get translated is “8430”, probably part of a unit designation:

I am still in the process of researching the names on the flag. Came up with some interesting results already.  Check this out for example:

Click here to go to a memorial website for Mr. Dick Sprinkle, there is even some info on his time in the Marine Corps. Sadly he passed away in 2008.

Below is a list of all the names on the flag, some are a bit hard to read i hope i got everything correct:

  • William M. “Bill“ West / Austin, Texas
  • A.O. Martin / Austin, Texas
  • Al Turner / Texas
  • Arthur W. Kleiner / Chicago, Illinois
  • Tony Martinkus / Chicago, Illinois
  • Dick Sprinkle / Seattle, Washington
  • Theodore Wolpe / Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Boyd Anderson / Oak, California
  • Emmit J. Carrier / Sharples, West Virginia (W.VA.?)
  • KW Thompson / Burlington, Vermont
  • W.E. Taylor / Harvey, West Virginia (W.VA.?)
  • Luther C. Tillman / Huntsvill, Alabama
  • James Gallagher / Schenectady, New York
  • Lt. P.M. Dodd / Illinois
  • Lt. M. Frescolon / Iowa
  • Lt. M. N. Nickels Jr. / Pennsylvania
  • Lt. A.W.O.L. Stahler / New York
  • Lt. E. Rosen / New York
  • Claude W. Weathers / Belmont, North Carolina
  • William F. Young / Highland Park, Michigan
  • James H. O’Neil / Meriden, Connecticut (Conn.?)
  • James McCreey / Magnolia, Ohio
  • Verloh(?) R. O’dea / Enid, Oklahoma (?)
  • W.E. Hamilton / Lake City, Arkansas
  • Tony D’Amore / Chicago, Illinois
  • Roger K. Morphew / Hotsprings, Arkansas
  • Walter Wasylinko / Decatur, Illinois
  • W.O. Connelly (?) / Bronx, New York
  • James O’Reilly / Astoria Long island, New York
  • William E. Barton (?) / Evansville, Indiana
  • H.J. Martin / California
  • Robert Lukens / Portland, Oregon
  • Robert Cox / Klamath, falls, Oregon
  • G.J. Tabaka / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

~ by m1pencil on August 24, 2010.

12 Responses to “Japanese “Meatball” flag captured by 6th Marines, Mortar Section”

  1. Hi there,
    Dunno if ya figured it out already, but the other Kanji seem to read Goshigi Natou (伍志技 なとう). It’s probably the name of the flag’s former owner. As to what the 8430 is about, I still have no idea. :/

  2. Hello Ceras,

    GREAT! Thank you very much! I am quite sure 8430 is the some kind of military unit designation. If i find out i will upddate my post. Maybe it would be possible to trace back where exactly the flag was captured once the “8430” mystery is solved 😎

    Again thank you for helping with the translation! 😀

    edit: for a unit code one digit seems to be missing…

  3. This is pretty cool to see. Today I sat with my Grandfather Arthur W. Kleiner and was looking at this. Told him “Bet you never thought you’d see that again.” He doesn’t say a whole lot about what all happened, but I’m sure it’s still vivid in his memory.

  4. If you want I can ask him if he remembers where the flag was captured. Don’t know if it matters to you anymore?

  5. Wow this is incredible!!
    It would be more than great if you could ask him 🙂

  6. Anything else you want me to ask him? I’m almost positive he is going to say it was captured in Tarawa. He was promoted to Sargent after the Sargent sitting next to him was shot dead while they were talking. He had also told me on Tarawa they found beer bottles buried in the sand all over the place like the Japanese were waiting to celebrate. Do you mind if I ask where you got the flag from, & where you are? Just think it would be neat if it was close that he could lay his eyes on the actual flag & maybe answer some questions for you.

  7. I am grateful for anything you can find out regarding this flag from your Grandfather! Thank you very much for doing this 😀
    I am located in Europe… so i fear it will not be close 😦 got the flag from a collector in the US quite some time ago. If you want I can send you high-res photos by email? Might be a nice thing to have for you.

  8. I was wrong! He said if he remembers correctly it was possibly captured in Siapan. He said that the Lt.Nickels probably got it at the same time he got his Japanese flag & that it was in Siapan. He also wanted to pass on that his Marine division moved on to Nagasaki after the bomb dropped for occupational duty. He was discharged shortly there after. He was curious how you came to own the flag or if you were a relative of Lt.Nickels? Us Kleiners are still in the Chicago area.

  9. Sure, photo’s would be nice to frame & give him. Any more questions you want me to pass along?

  10. By the way the email is bkleiner78@hotmail.com , thanks for your help also.

  11. email is on the way!

  12. Thank you!!! Please let me know if any new details come to light. I am very curious about this part of my Grandfathers life.

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