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Gentlemen:

Here's an example of a rifle with what might be an interesting history, but as is so often the case, we'll never know the rest of the story. It's a nice rather late Nagoya in that "just taken out of the closet" condition that I so love to find. As you can see, someone, presumably "Butch Domeracki", saw fit to carve his name, the year (1950) and several Asian appearing characters into the stock. I purchased this piece years ago for a pittance. No background information or history was known.














I can envision at least three possible scenarios:

1. Butch, stationed in postwar Japan, found and brought home this Type 99 that somehow eluded waves of earlier GI souvenir hunters and the many barges of surrendered arms that were dumped into Tokyo Bay.

2. Butch captured or picked-up this rifle somewhere in Korea after the North Koreans invaded the South in June, 1950. From late summer until the end of the year, the US forces saw a lot of action in 1950.

3. In 1950, some WWII Pacific vet decided to give his souvenir Type 99 to his kid brother "Butch", who promptly and proudly used his pocket knife to carve his name on his new rifle.

Sadly, I'll never know what happened. Clearly, there could be any number of explanations, but the one I would most like to be true is the "captured in Korea" scenario. The last name, "Domeracki", is uncommon, and given complete WWII and Korean War records, it would probably be easy to search. Unfortunately our service records are not complete and easily searchable online.
Can anyone read the kanji characters? Are they Japanese, Korean, Chinese or simply jibberish carved by good old Butch? :confused: Note the unusual design of the "0" in the year "1950":



I know I'm undoubtedly grasping at straws in hopes of finding a Korean connection, but the unusual slanted marks in the "corners" of the "0" remind me of the symbols on the corners of the South Korean flag:



Your thoughts and theories are welcome. :)
 

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Gold Bullet member
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Not Kanji... GI Approximation. Since each "leg" of the characters is the same size, I am assuming the kanji was done with a screwdriver tip held straight on and tapped with a hammer. There is, in my mind, also an equal chance that the stock was carved on by a young recipient of a WWII souvenir to mark his "gun" for neighborhood cops and robbers? It is clearly vintage. No harm in some oil and cleanup.
 
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