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Jeff Osborne
10-06-2008, 01:38 AM
In March of 2007 we had a meeting of Japanese ordnance collectors at my home in Michigan. A number of serious collectors brought examples from their collections for discussion and photography. On display during that time were inert projectiles, mines, fuzes, grenades and rare ammunition items such as the 120mm mortar, the Type 23 grenade, the 150mm Japanese Naval Short Mortar, the B model stick grenades and the Japanese 60mm mortar. Ordnance was discussed in detail, documents were scanned and shared and participants viewed and offered their comments and advice on the work-in-progress Japanese Explosive Ordnance of WWII, which is currently over 800 pages and growing.

This meeting was hosted by two of us with an avid interest in Japanese ordnance. We are both collectors and are well known within the ordnance and Japanese collecting communities. Japanese Explosive Ordnance of WWII is something I have been working on for several years now, the creation of a new photographic identification guide for all Japanese explosive ordnance. In this effort I have been visiting museums, archives, bomb disposal units, private collectors and ordnance recovery sites across the globe. In addition to the display of some fantastic pieces of history, this meeting gives me the opportunity to get collector and researcher feedback on the efforts so far on the book, identifying its strengths and weaknesses.

It is our intention to host a second meeting late this year, again in mid-Michigan on the 6th of December. The intent of this meeting is much the same as this forum; to share information, thoughts and ideas related to the history of Japanese equipment during the Second World War. This meeting is open to any serious collectors of Japanese ordnance who share our interest and enthusiasm and that feel they could contribute to this meeting through their attendance, discussion and any items which they would like to share for viewing and inclusion in the handbook. This meeting will use a significantly larger venue, allowing for greater display of items brought for discussion. This year we will expand the displays of ordnance and expect to also have displays of some selected firearms and possibly mortars as well.

The meeting has already been advertised in the newsletter for the Japanese collector’s group Banzai as well as the Journal for the International Ammunition Association. We have so far received interest from collectors in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Illinois and Indiana. We have sufficient space and welcome additional participants.

If you are serious about the collecting and/or research of WWII Japanese ordnance and would be interested in attending and/or displaying, please contact us at either jgoeod@hotmail.com or galen@midmich.net. for further information.