Identification Flags Issued to Pilots of the
Third & Fifth Fleet towards the end of the War
By Hersch Pahl
During the last four or five months of WW-II we pilots in Air Group Six (and I suppose other air
groups in the Third and Fifth Fleets) were issued a Chinese Nationalist flag and an American flag to carry on our
person, in our back pack or in our emergency supplies somewhere. In case we went down on land someplace other than
aboard our aircraft carriers these flags might identify us in some way that would be to our advantage .
Chinese Nationalist Flag
Both flags had a serial number that was recorded in our names which might help in identification
in some way. Hopefully they would never need to be used - which was the case for us. I still have mine 63 years
after they were issued. (As of 2008).
On the Chinese Nationalist flag we were told that the writing would identify us to Chinese who could
read Mandarin and another dialect.
American Flag -
Then with 48 stars
The flag of the United States, (with 48 stars), carried a short message to identify the pilot as
a friend and says something that implied our government would reward or repay any one who would provide assistance
in any way. The message is repeated in FRENCH, THAI‡, LAO*, CHINESE, ANNAMESE†, KOREAN, and JAPANESE.
‡ The language of Thailand
* The language spoken in Laos.
† A language spoken in an area of French Indo-China (of the
time) known as Annam, a French protectorate in what is now the central area of Vietnam.
"For those who fought for it...
freedom has a flavor the protected will never know!"