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While on Peleliu in 2002 I obtained two WWII Marine Corps Canteen cups. In 2006 I obtained a third canteen cup. One of them I found, and the other two were given to me by Mr. Sachio Kageyama, the son of a Japanese Officer killed during the battle. Mr. Kageyama is also the president of the "2nd Infantry Regiment's Comrade Assoc." He and other volunteers visit Peleliu regulalry to search for and collect the bones of their war dead for proper Buddhist burial. I was able to facilitate the return of all three canteen cups.
This is the story of the most recently returned canteen cup :
Dan is happy to announce that a third US WWII canteen cup has been returned to the original owner from the island of Peleliu. The named canteen cup was found, cleaned up and taken back to Japan by Mr. Sachio Kageyama of Mito-city, Japan.
Dan visited Mr. Kageyama in Nov.'06 on a trip to Japan to interview WWII Japanese war veterans for an upcoming book called "Eyewitness WWII: Japan" to be published by Firstperson Accounts. Mr. Kageyama showed Dan the canteen cup asking if the owner's next-of-kin could be located. Mr. Kageyama said that if no one could be found within 6 months he would donate it to a local museum in Japan, but if Dan was successful he would mail the cup to Dan in California to be returned to the rightful owner.
The bullet and shrapnel ridden canteen cup had the name "Lee R. Lumpkin" on it. It took 4 months to finally locate Mr. Lumpkin who was alive and well in Virginia. Mr. Lumpkin turned out to be Ssgt Lumpkin, a squad leader in "C" Company, 323rd Combat Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, 81st Army Division. Ssgt Lumpkin was wearing the canteen cup when he was grenaded in the arm & hip up on Bloody Nose Ridge. He was hit through the cup and into his hip causing his evacuation to Guadalcanal for surgery. Ssgt Lumpkin returned to his unit for the occupation of Japan and still carries the shrapnel in his hip.
Special thanks to the following for assisting in the hunt for Mr. Lumpkin: Quay Terry, John Edward, Doug Meny, Diane Kuebler, Jim Pilkington
Note: Please check "WWII Battlesites" for more details on trips to Peleliu and the Japanese search for their war dead. If you have anyone who would like to return a WWII Japanese war trophy taken from Peleliu- such as a flag or named item- please contact me.