China Marine Jacket

The Case:

A man in Santa Monica, CA received an embroidered jacket as a gift from his son. Our contributor, a former Marine, is intrigued by the jacket’s stitched inscriptions, which read: “4th Marines,” “Shanghai,” “China,” “1937-1939” and “MWD.”

He knows the 4th Marines were transferred from Shanghai to the Philippines in November 1941 amidst growing tensions with the Japanese. The unit was attacked by the Japanese on the same day as the Pearl Harbor bombings. Some of the men who fought in the Philippines never returned, having suffered the atrocities of Japanese imprisonment and the Bataan Death March.

But who did this particular jacket belong to, and what was his legacy as a Marine?

History Detectives investigates the story of the “China Marines,” a regiment that worked under extreme circumstances to keep the peace and protect American interests during the perilous ramp up to World War II.

Discuss this story

Season 6, Episode 4

Gwen Wright Location:
Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles

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