1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 13, 2020 2:16 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking information about belt buckle from Occupation of Japan


      In my fathers items from WWII, he had a nickel alloy or some type of silver alloy belt buckle.  It measures 1 5/8 x 2 3/8 in., in the center it has a raised embossed insignia with a raised ring; within the ring is raised lettering "UNIVERSITY OF THE JAPAN 1946", inside the circle it has some sort of crest with 3 marking (letters or numbers that I do not recognize) in the center of it and above the crest wings similar to aviators wing only a little up-sweep instead of flat which the top of the wing tips extends outside the circle.  The field of the buckle has 5 point stars and random tool marks in it.  It will accept 1 1/4" wide leather or web belt. My father was in the 11th. Airborne Division and was part of the Occupation of Japan until some time in 1947.

        • Re: Seeking information about belt buckle from Occupation of Japan
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Dale,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Your description does not match any issued uniform item we are aware of, other than the fact that the inclusion of wings is reminiscent of the use of wings in the 11th Airborne Divisions’s unit insignia and the parachute badges and glider badges that would have been worn by members of an airborne unit. Searches for “University of the Japan” also come up with no results, and the nonstandard English suggests that this was not American made. This may have been purchased by your father from a Japanese dealer as a souvenir.


          The National Archives does not have the authority to appraise or authenticate such items.  We suggest that you contact a reputable antiques dealer in your area or search for a specialist in 20th Century Japanese antiques or World War II era memorabilia. 


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!