Captured Japanese flag : Private H G Robinson 2/32 Battalion AIF

Place Asia: Netherlands East Indies, Halmahera Island, Morotai Island
Accession Number REL41657
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Japan
Date made c 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Rectangular shaped Japanese flag with central hinomaru (rising sun). Around the rising sun are several hand written Japanese phrases and statements.

History / Summary

QX57415 Private Harold George Balfour Robinson of 7 Section, 9 Platoon, A Company of the 2/32 Battalion Australian Imperial Force collected this flag in Morotai in 1945.

A translation of the flag reads as follows : 'To Mr. YASUTAKE Yoshio' (top left of flag). The large writing above the rising sun says '10,000 years' (for good luck). The writing on the right hand side of the flag states 'Victory' and 'Wishing you long lasting fortune of war'. The writing below the rising sun says 'Loyal to the Emperor'.

Harold Robinson was born in Newcastle, NSW on 14 June 1919. At a young age he was fostered out to a dairy farm on Mosquito Island (now part of Kooragang Island, NSW). While he was a teenager he decided to 'go bush' to North Queensland and to the Gulf of Carpentaria. He was working as a drover/kangaroo and crocodile shooter in North Queensland when he enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces in January 1943 with the regimental number of Q268787.

On 17 September 1943 he transferred to the Second AIF. He was allotted a new regimental number of QX57415 and posted as a private to the 2/32 Infantry Battalion. After extensive training in Australia he embarked with his unit on board the US transport ship General JH McRae on 23 April 1945. The unit disembarked at Morotai Island, Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) on 1 May 1945 .

On 28 May 1945 he embarked at Morotai for service in Labuan, Borneo on board the US Landing Ship Tank (LST) 562. On 20 January 1946 Robinson embarked from Labuan on the US Victory Class troopship SS Georgetown Victory and disembarked in Rabaul on 28 January 1946. Robinson later returned to Australia, where he was discharged from the Australian Army on 25 June 1946.

Like many other returned servicemen, Robinson found it hard to re-adjust to civilian life. Post-war he worked in several occupations, including door to door salesman, watchmaker and jewelry shop owner in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Harold retired with his wife to Forster NSW in 1989, and died a year later.