Q: I would like some information about this lighter. The design on the front includes two palm trees, a mushroom cloud, the words "Eniwetok Atoll," and several other names. I think they are smaller islands in the same area of the Pacific. The lighter is marked "Penguin" on the back.
A: Eniwetok is a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands. U.S. forces defeated Japanese forces on the island in February 1944. After World War II, the area became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and was administered by the United States. The spelling of the atoll's name was changed to "Enewetak" in 1974. The U.S. government conducted more than 40 nuclear tests there between 1946 and 1958, and the first test of the hydrogen bomb took place there in 1952. The smaller islands listed on your lighter were evidently also test sites. Penguin-brand souvenir lighters like yours were made in Japan and given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Most of the lighters have a medallion on the back with the words "Army, Navy, Air Force, AEC" (Atomic Energy Commission) around the atomic symbol and "Joint Task Force, Seven" beneath it. The back of your lighter looks as though the medallion originally glued to it fell off, which lowers the lighter's value. Many similar lighters are available online, where they sell for $10 to $30.