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Imperial Japan, 5 yen note, issued in occupied China acquired by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.442.36

Japanese 5 yen note acquired by Captain James (Jim) Edward Kirkebo, who served in the US Army from 1940-1945, and fought in Europe with the Thunderbolt Division from December 1944-May 1945. This type of currency was issued by the Bank of Japan but then used as a military banknote as Japan expanded their occupation of China in 1938. This note does not have the military seals. Kirkebo, 19, enlisted in the US Army in 1940 and, in August 1942, 2nd Lt. Kirkebo became commanding officer, C Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division. In December 1944, Kirkebo's unit landed in Normandy, defended Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and spearheaded the Allied advance into Germany. Kirkebo received a battlefield promotion to captain on February 1, 1945. On May 5 and 6, soldiers from the 11th Armored liberated Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps. At Mauthausen, the unit was tasked with caring for 19,000 starving inmates. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Kirkebo was awarded a Silver Star and 3 Bronze Stars for his leadership and heroism in action.

Date
approximately 1942  (issue)
Geography
issue : China
Language
Japanese
Classification
Exchange Media
Category
Money
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of James Edward Kirkebo
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:39
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn84726