The thing that I was hoping would happen with this blog, happened.
My cousin read my post about how I couldn’t find any military records for our uncle Verne. She was like, that’s weird because I have some stuff. And she sent me this.
Section VI of War Department Circular Number 155, 1945 has to do with the retention of captured enemy war trophies. In this case, a saber. As I mentioned in my original post about Verne, he had participated in the capture of Los Negros Island, a Japanese base in the Admiralty Islands during World War II. After the Admiralties, the 5th Cavalry sailed to the Philippines for the Leyte invasion where they again battled Japanese forces. It’s not known where he obtained the saber but, regardless, I would wager it was Japanese. Just like the fur coat and engagement ring, we don’t know what happened to the saber, but we have some theories.
I never saw the saber but perhaps it looked something like this.
The other thing we learn from this document is that Verne had achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant by the age of 21. I don’t know anything about military ranks so I had to look it up but it appears that a Staff Sergeant is usually placed in command of a squad of 9-10 soldiers. Maybe things were different during WWII but that seems like an awful lot of responsibility for a 21-year-old. It looks like Staff Sergeants are usually older.
If anyone has something to share, whether it’s about Staff Sergeants, Japanese swords, Verne, or something else, feel free to chime in. I love this exchange of information.