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MARVELOUS WW2 Japanese Army Illustrated Diary with Author’s Photo Island Captured Identified and Translated


Very Good Condition

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This is a one-of-a-kind WW2 Japanese diary with his drawings and a photo of him.

A US rubber stamp inside indicates where it was captured, Ali Island. The stamp was likely placed there after the diary was exploited by US Intelligence. It was item 12807.

This was from a POW named Hajime Nakabayashi. He served with “Aitape Patrol Troop 2053, 78th Group, 20th Korean Troop” on Ali Island. Ali Island is due east of Aitape, Papua New Guniea. It appears that Nakabayashi was sent to the offshore Island from the main base at Aitape.

The entries are from December 2, 1943 to April 24, 1944. Not coincidentally, the US amphibious landing on Ali Island by the G Co. 127th Infantry, 32nd Division, took place on April 24, 1944, the day the entries stopped! Chalko Team, Alamo Scouts were part of the landing force on April 24, 1944.

The time sent sailing to Aitape was obviously monumental for Nakabayashi. He drew the ships underway and UNDER ATTACK. His art even depicts a duel between a fighter plane and another airplane or possibly the ship he was on under attack by two different aircraft.

This rare diary has a decent summary translation describing getting sea sick on the ship that took him to Aitape, air attacks, getting malaria, losing his rifle, not having machine guns or artillery, the death of his friends, living and sleeping in caves, being shelled, making a will, apologizing to his parents for not being able to do much to fight, asking for forgiveness and preparing to “Go for broke.”

Brief research shows that the Japanese garrison on Ali Island was attacked by USAAC B24s on April 3, 1944 and by Naval gunfire by the USS Kane DD-235 on April 22, 1944 as part of the campaign.

Although Ali was a small island it was hotly contested. A Silver Star was posthumously awarded to SSgt Lyle E Schane of Waukesaha, WI of G Co., 127th Inf. for his brave actions as a Platoon Sergeant on Ali Island.

Arguably, Nakabayashi was wounded on the 25th of April, 1944, and was unable to continue to write any entries.

This lot includes a letter from 1989 and the envelope it was shipped from in 1989. The letter describes how it made it from the US Medic who treated Nakabayashi to collector circles in 1987. The letter describes the Medic as having been with the 41st Infantry Division. However, no readily available records indicate that they were involved with the battle on Ali Island. Keep in mind that in 1989, the internet was not available for research so this is either a mistaken thought or the Medic was detached from the 41st Division as part of a supporting medical detachment.

Further research is highly likely to produce more about Mr. Nakabayashi and the battle of Ali Island.

The Type 14 cleaning rod was used to hold the page down for the photo. It is not included.

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