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The is the diamond label tag that was inside Masaichi Yamamoto's cap he wore while attending the Japanese Naval Academy in 1944-1945. The war ended 2 months before he and his shipmates (class #75) graduated. His class was to graduate on Oct. 1, 1945 but the war ended in August.

I was living in Japan in 1993 when a collector-friend (living in the States) offered to sell this hat to me in hopes I could return it to the family. I bought the hat and showed it to my Japanese father-in-law who gasped and said, "I was supposed to be in class #75 but I failed the eyesight test". He got out his phone book and made 2 phone calls and handed me the phone, and I was talking to the dead man's widow!!

I said I wanted to return the hat but she refused saying that since she didn't meet her deceased husband (he died in 1990) until long after the war ended and the hat held no meaning to her. She said, "It is better to be left in your care since you appear to care deeply for WWII history."

Well, as luck would have it, I left it at my father-in-law's house for a few weeks for him to look at and enjoy- he was nostalgic- but one weekend when I went to visit him had discovered he had removed the name tag out of superstition. I was heartbroken but kept the tag and the photo the widow mailed to me in appreciation.

The is a photo of Masaichi Yamamoto (on the right) wearing his cadet uniform, while attending the Japanese Naval Academy in 1944-1945.