Posted: 6/18/2012 3:08:10 AM |
My father belonged to the "Greatest Generation". During World War ll he served in the U.S. Army in the Southwest Pacific where he participated in the New Guinea, Luzon, and Southern Philippine campaigns. When he returned from the war he brought back with him examples of coins and notes from Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines as well as some amazing Kodachrome slides he took during the war.
Even though many decades have passed since my father first showed me the coins and notes he collected in the Southwest Pacific I still remember my initial fascination with dad's strange U.S. Philippine notes and coins.
They all clearly stated "United States of America" on them but had designs that I had never seen on any circulating U.S. coin or note. Even stranger their denominations were in Pesos and Centavos instead of the familiar Dollars and Cents. As I grew older and became a serious junior collector I came to realize the historical importance of my father's "Victory Notes" and coins.
Although my father was not a coin collector he was always very supportive of my hobby. When I was eleven or twelve I joined a local coin club and dad would always make time from his busy schedule to attend the monthly meeting with me.
My father is responsible for my interest in both the numismatics and history of the Philippines under U.S. Sovereignty. In addition to the coins, notes, and color slides that my father brought back with him he had many wondrous stories of his war time buddies, the warm Australian and Philippine civilians, the Philippine Guerrillas, and of course General MacArthur.
My father was assigned to GHQ (General Headquarters Southwest Pacific Area) where his duties occasionally brought him into direct contact with the General MacArthur. Of course there were hundreds of staff at GHQ and my father was only a lowly Warrant Officer. One of my father's fondest memories and favorite stories was the time that he shared an elevator with the General MacArthur when GHQ was still in Australia and the general greeted him by name and inquired how he was doing.
For many decades my father talked about making a return visit to Australia and the Philippines. That never happened. My father passed away in 2004 two days after his 85th birthday.
When my father died I inherited the letters he wrote during the war, his priceless Kodachrome slides, and the coins and notes he collected in the Southwest Pacific. While his "Victory Notes" and coins may not be in the best condition I will always treasure them more highly than the rarest GEMS in my collection.
All of the Philippine coins and notes in the attached picture were acquired by my father during the liberation of the Philippines.
Top Row - One Peso Philippines Victory Note (Face). Note the "Victory Series NO. 66" at the top right and lower left, and 1944-S One Centavo (Obverse).
Second Row - 1944-S Five Centavos (Obverse), 1944-D Ten Centavos (Obverse), 1944-D Twenty Centavos (Obverse), 1944-S Fifty Centavos (Obverse).
Third Row - Three Kodachrome Slides taken by my father during the liberation of the Philippines. Exposed film had to be sent to Australia for processing (Note the red "MADE IN AUSTRALIA" stamp on the top of the first slide) then approved by the Military Censor before being mailed to my mother in the United States. Note the "APPROVED FOR MAILING U.S. CENSOR" stamp on the top of the second slide. Also on the third row is a second 1944-S Fifty Centavos (Reverse).
Fourth Row - One Peso Philippines Victory Note (Back). Note the "Victory" overstamp.
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