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Posted: 10/27/2013 9:31:03 AM EST
Hey guys. A quick question for all you experts!

I was just watchin' the old John Wayne film, "Operation Pacific" and a guy was painting Japanese flags on the mast of their sub - of course, one for each kill the sub had made.

What I'm wondering though is: why did some of the flags have the rays of the sun, while others were simple "meatballs"?

I noticed something similar recently on fighter planes in the ETO. Some flags were what we'd consider a "regular" Nazi flags, but others had the swastika in the URH corner and a large cross across the flag's main field - or, something like that!

Any info you can share regarding these particulars will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 9:36:58 AM EST
Good question.
I too would like to know.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 9:37:05 AM EST
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, meatball flag a merchant ship,
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 9:52:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 9:55:14 AM EST by ScoutOut]
Flag of Japan


The national flag of Japan is a white rectangular flag with a large red disk (representing the sun) in the center....A well-known variant of the sun disc design is the sun disc with 16 red rays in a Siemens star formation, which was also historically used by Japan's military, particularly the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy.
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Link Posted: 10/27/2013 9:59:49 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, meatball flag a merchant ship,
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Nailed it.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 10:45:31 AM EST
I don´t know about the Med Theater, maybe crossed was Italian?

Or Aircraft destroyed on the ground?

A Pic would be helpful.

Hermann
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 10:54:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By Former11BRAVO:
Hey guys. A quick question for all you experts!

I was just watchin' the old John Wayne film, "Operation Pacific" and a guy was painting Japanese flags on the mast of their sub - of course, one for each kill the sub had made.

What I'm wondering though is: why did some of the flags have the rays of the sun, while others were simple "meatballs"?

I noticed something similar recently on fighter planes in the ETO. Some flags were what we'd consider a "regular" Nazi flags, but others had the swastika in the URH corner and a large cross across the flag's main field - or, something like that!

Any info you can share regarding these particulars will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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I believe that is (or was) the German Naval Flag. Could indicate sinking damaging a ship.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 11:03:15 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, flag a merchant ship,
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This. However, it wasn't painted on the mast but on a flag. Subs would arrive with a broom attached to the mast, signifying that they had swept the ocean clean and a flag showing how many warships and merchantmen they sank. For a VERY GOOD read by a WW II skipper, get Eugene Fluckey's Thunder Below! Fluckey earned four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor. His proudest achievement was that he never lost a man. His last patrol was perhaps the most difficult as most things afloat with the Japanese flag was sunk. He tried to sink a trawler with his 20 mm AA guns. No luck. He then tried rifle grenades. No luck. Lacking explosives, he consulted with his chief who told him the sub, the USS Barb, could ram it without harm to herself. Ram it he did and down went the trawler. Fluckey even sent some men ashore who planted a bomb on the train tracks. They waited until a choo-choo came by and went ka-boom! Another innovation was the mounting of rocket racks on the deck of the Barb. He launched rockets against coastal towns in Japan.

There are numerous photos of the flags that his crew fabricated showing their tally at the completion of their sortie/cruise.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 11:07:52 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, meatball flag a merchant ship,
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Correct
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 1:55:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 4v50:


This. However, it wasn't painted on the mast but on a flag. Subs would arrive with a broom attached to the mast, signifying that they had swept the ocean clean and a flag showing how many warships and merchantmen they sank. For a VERY GOOD read by a WW II skipper, get Eugene Fluckey's Thunder Below! Fluckey earned four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor. His proudest achievement was that he never lost a man. His last patrol was perhaps the most difficult as most things afloat with the Japanese flag was sunk. He tried to sink a trawler with his 20 mm AA guns. No luck. He then tried rifle grenades. No luck. Lacking explosives, he consulted with his chief who told him the sub, the USS Barb, could ram it without harm to herself. Ram it he did and down went the trawler. Fluckey even sent some men ashore who planted a bomb on the train tracks. They waited until a choo-choo came by and went ka-boom! Another innovation was the mounting of rocket racks on the deck of the Barb. He launched rockets against coastal towns in Japan.

There are numerous photos of the flags that his crew fabricated showing their tally at the completion of their sortie/cruise.
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Originally Posted By 4v50:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, flag a merchant ship,


This. However, it wasn't painted on the mast but on a flag. Subs would arrive with a broom attached to the mast, signifying that they had swept the ocean clean and a flag showing how many warships and merchantmen they sank. For a VERY GOOD read by a WW II skipper, get Eugene Fluckey's Thunder Below! Fluckey earned four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor. His proudest achievement was that he never lost a man. His last patrol was perhaps the most difficult as most things afloat with the Japanese flag was sunk. He tried to sink a trawler with his 20 mm AA guns. No luck. He then tried rifle grenades. No luck. Lacking explosives, he consulted with his chief who told him the sub, the USS Barb, could ram it without harm to herself. Ram it he did and down went the trawler. Fluckey even sent some men ashore who planted a bomb on the train tracks. They waited until a choo-choo came by and went ka-boom! Another innovation was the mounting of rocket racks on the deck of the Barb. He launched rockets against coastal towns in Japan.

There are numerous photos of the flags that his crew fabricated showing their tally at the completion of their sortie/cruise.


That was SOP?

This WAS a movie, granted. But, they were painting flags on the . . . oops! I meant conning tower! Shit!

Sorry for any confusion. Yeah. They were painting flags on the conning tower an that's when I noticed the differing styles of flags.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:12:09 PM EST
I thought the broom meant they had scored a "clean sweep", meaning they were successful in every engagement against an enemy ship. Failure to score a kill in an engagement took away the clean sweep.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:13:03 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
on the sub, likely a rising sun flag meant a warship, meatball flag a merchant ship,
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^THis
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:48:01 PM EST
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