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WWII Submarine Battle Flag, USS Jack, SS-259
The tradition of submarine battle flags began during WWII when subs returning from patrol would fly flags representing ships sunk, total tonnage, or a broom indicating a "clean sweep" (meaning that every target engaged was destroyed). Toward the end of the war the crews started making flags specific to their boat with a logo and sewn patches indicating ships sunk, the number of patrols, pilots rescued, citations received, etc. This flag is unique to the submarine USS Jack and features a hand painted logo which has been hand sewn onto a red fabric background depicting a fighting fish wearing a sailorís cap and boxing gloves while smoking a cigar. There are 29 individual Japanese "meatball" flag emblems and one rising sun emblem machine sewn to the flag, indicating the kills. The "meatball" flags represent merchant ships and the rising sun flag represents a Japanese naval vessel. In addition there are sewn patches representing the award citations the crew received. The boatís name is stenciled onto a red banner which has also been sewn to the background cloth. A separate white cloth backing has been sewn to the flag. Size 41" x 28". Very good condition with minor staining, no tears. The fact that this flag does not include all the awards and credits featured on the final version of the Jackís official flag indicate the likelihood that it was made in 1945, but before the warís end.
USS Jack (SS-259), a Gato-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the jack (a variety of fish). Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut 2 February 1942. She was launched 16 October 1942. USS Jack sailed on 9 Pacific patrols during the war and was credited with sinking a total of 76,687 tons of Japanese shipping and received 7 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. Jack is the subject of the series premier of the syndicated television anthology series "The Silent Service". The episode, entitled "The Jack at Tokyo," aired 5 Apr 1957 and was hosted by Rear Admiral Thomas M. Dykers (ret). Her operations during the Pacific War are chronicled in "Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine", a memoir written in 1995 by Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, who served aboard the Jack.
Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,424 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Complement 6 Officers 54 Enlisted; Operating Depth, 300 ft; Submerged Endurance, 48 hrs at 2 kts; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 3"/50 deck gun, two .50 cal. machine guns, two .30 cal. machine guns; Propulsion, diesel electric reduction gear with four Hoover, Owens, Rentschler Co. main generator diesel engines, 5,400HP, Fuel Capacity, 97,140 gal., four Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co. main motors, 2,740HP, two 126-cell main storage batteries, twin screws.
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Final Version of USS Jack Battleflag