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 Author  Topic: Flags & Brooms
Blake

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Blake   Send Email To Blake Posted on: Jan 29, 2009 - 8:42pm
I just purchased & watched They Were Expendable on DVD. I had it on VHS for years, but loaned it someone quite a while back & can't remember who. Ive always wanted it on DVD, so that just helped me justify it!
Anyway, I've always had a few questions about some things in the movie.
1. In the movie when pulling into the dock they place the blue flag with white stars on the bow of the boat, why was that done, or what did it signify?
2. Same question, but about the broom ontop of the mast?
3. When they pull away from the dock they roll up the US flag flying from the pole on the stern, but there's always a US flag on the mast. Was it normal procedure to fly 2 flags? & did one, either, or both US flags fly at night when the boat was tied up to the dock?
Nothing important, but just things I always wonder about when I watch the movie.
Thanks.
Blake

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Jan 29, 2009 - 9:13pm
Blake:

The Jack Flag is a Flag corresponding in appearance to the Union or Canton of the National Ensign. In the case of the US Navy, this is a Blue Flag, showing a Star for each Sate.

This Flag is usually flown on the bow of the boat when at anchor or when the boat is in port. The broom tied to the mast of any sailing ship (US NAVY) represents what is known as a clean sweep. This means the boat has destroyed all that it has encountered on a particular patrol. PT Boats carried Flags on the mast or on the stern, although most hung the flag on the mast or Radar Mast, along with the commissioning pennant. I have many photos showing the boats at anchor flying the US Flag from their mast's. I do not think they took them down at night, but I am sure some of our PT Vets can answer this beter then I can.


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BobPic

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 30, 2009 - 6:28am
The blue flag with stars was indeed the Union Jack and according to Naval regulations was to be flown when not under way. It could be flown from the bow as large ships tended to do or flown from the stern as most PT's did, if they bothered to do soat all. When our first Jack was worn, we did not replace it.
Flag rules were lax and different by squadron (and boat skipper). We flew ours on the radar mast and never took it down except to replace it occasionally. We wanted to fly it at night since that's when we operated and was "seen" by the enemy.
I suppose if we had had a broom we would have found means to display it after a "kill". Someone did display a swab on our mast one time.


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QM

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 30, 2009 - 9:16am
I did not fly the Union Jack while in port because we had none. It may have gone home with a previous crew member. The flag was flown day and night when we were underway, either from the mast or at the stern. I believe that it was usually at the mast. When we were in port the flag was flown during daylight only. At Dreger the flag was flown at the stern because the mast was usually lowered to tie up under trees. I do not remember what we did at Hollandia, Wadke and Mios Woendi where the mast did not have to be lowered. At Melville the flag was retired each evening.

A current item regarding the flag; for all old hands who may have missed the change, we can now give a hand salute while in civilian clothes.

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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Jan 30, 2009 - 9:31am
In the Solomons we never flew the Union Jack. I am not sure we even had one on 242. We flew the stars and stripes from the radar mast - never took it down day or night. We replaced them when the stripes whipped down to about 1/3 as long as original. I brought one home from our boat - sent it to "Boats" Newberry years ago for the museum. We had a broom - only had a clean sweep one time to use it other than sweep the deck.

C. J. Willis

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Allan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: Jan 30, 2009 - 6:48pm
The early New Guinea PT's tended to fly their commissioning pennants from the very tip of the radio antenna. Earl Palmer Brown recalls that he too flew the pennant from his antenna on the 120 boat. Does anyone know why this was done? Brown could not recall any particular reason for it being attached to the antenna.

Allan


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Dennis L Conley

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 31, 2009 - 9:09am
My Brother has the flag from Dad's boat.
It must have been flown from the radar mast.
The flag has a few bullet holes in it. Dad said the Japanese always shot too high.


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Blake

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Blake   Send Email To Blake Posted on: Jan 31, 2009 - 11:34am
Thanks to all for your responses, I just love learning the "why" behind little details,
Thanks again!
Blake

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