Japanese WWII Gas Mask Bag and Filter-This is a tan canvas gas mask bag with the number 98135 stenciled in black ink on the front. It has cloth straps ties to enclose the flaps. On the outside of the front flap is a lighter patch with kanji written on it. There is one inside pocket that is closed with a bakelite button. The webbed and canvas backstraps are in place along with the steel fittings. Some discoloration to the bag itself but in good condition. This bag contains a filter for a gas mask. It is very well marked, and the paint is almost fully intact, except for a few select spots. Desirable example and something we don’t encounter very often.
This is part of the Charles Spilman collection, who brought these home from the Pacific theater where he was an embedded reporter. War Correspondent Charles H. Spilman, worked at the Providence Journal-Bulletin for over 42 years and had quite the storied career. He joined the newspapers in 1932 as a printer and became a reporter two years later. He retired in 1974. During his career there, he oversaw the reporters oversaw reporters and journalists and was instrumental in winning the newspaper its Pulitzer. It was the first time an entire newspaper staff was honored with a Pulitzer. During World War II, Spilman was a war correspondent in the Southwest Pacific and was “embedded” with the 43rd Division in the pacific, and sent dispatches home from New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war, he returned safely to Rhode Island to continue his life, and actually went back to Asia in 1967 and covered operations in Vietnam when the war was in an early phase. Charles passed away in Rhode Island in April of 1981, at the age of 70.