blood check

Discussion in 'US Units' started by nickhandley, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. nickhandley

    nickhandley Junior Member

    Hello i am new to this sit but i thought that it might help me find out some info about WWII since my grandfather was in the air force at the time. my question is dealing with a thing that i believe is called a blood check. it is a peice of leather that has an american flag, a flag that is all red and where the stars would be it is blue with one large white star, and a flag that looks like a police badge. it also has three different writings on it that i think are japaneese, chinese and possibly korean, but i am not sure. i thought i saw this same thing on the history channel one day and they said it was a blood check that a soldier would cary on them and if they were captured they would give this to the one who took them prisoner. supposidly its says something along the lines of "if you release me with no harm done there will be a reward from my government". thats what i remember from the boob tube. if anyone has any information on this please let me know thanks nick.
  2. NaBnEsS

    NaBnEsS Junior Member

    hey, im new to this too, just started yesterday, unfortunatley i dont have a answer to your question but my grandpop was in the navy
  3. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    I think you meant "Blood Chit"

    [​IMG]"Blood Chits: A Brief History"
    Blood chits, identification flags, and escape flags are all terms used somewhat interchangeably by veterans and collectors alike. Technically to truly be a "chit" there must be a pledge of reward for the safe conduct and return of the bearer of the chit. Generally these items were designed to provide rapid identification to a downed pilot and facilitate assistance from local allies these pilots may have encountered. Most featured a flag with a message printed in one or more native languages. A message found on one type of US chit in 17 languages, used in the CBI theater reads: "Dear friend, I am an Allied fighter. I did not come here to do any harm to you who are my friends. I only want to do harm to the Japanese and chase them away from this country as quickly as possible. If you will assist me, my government will sufficiently reward you when the Japanese are driven away."
    Blood chits were first used by the A. V. G. operating in China. These chits had the flag of Nationalist China at the top with the message in Chinese below. Many airmen wore these on the back of their jackets, but later found it best to sew them inside in case they were downed in a Communist area.
    When sewn inside on three sides with the top left open, they made handy map pockets as well. The official versions of these WWII era chits were printed on cloth, but eventually, local artisans produced many unofficial versions of hand-embroidered silk and leather.
    Korean/Vietnam War era Blood chits displayed the flag of the United States and the message written out in several languages from that area of Asia. As with all the chits, serial numbers were printed on each and were to be "issued" to the pilots to help aide in the identification process should the pilot become missing or die in a crash, and the chit was later to be found. This was not always the case, as many aviation units just handed out or placed the chit in the pilot's survival kit or flight suit, never documenting the serial number. On the other hand, some units considered the chit a "sensitive item" and strictly followed unit SOP for issue of the chit, placing the serial number in the pilot's official military records.
    Over the years the message printed on the chits were changed to aid in the pilot's safety without giving more information than needed about the reason for his sudden presence. Whereas in WWII, the chit may have said, "I'm an American service member, here to fight the German or Japanese forces..." In 1962, the Southeast Asia - West Central Pacific version of the chits were changed to read: " I am a citizen of the United States of America...Misfortune forces me to seek your assistance in obtaining food, shelter and protection..." Written in such a matter as to not inflict unnecessary harm to the pilot/crewmember should he be found or captured in enemy territory.
    To this day, Blood Chits are issued to pilots and crews operating in hostile territory. Although sometimes controversial, they remain essential to a pilot's safety, and could perhaps someday save his life.
    To provide United States Department of Defense (DoD) policy clarification and guidance relating to “Blood Chit” use and compensation.
    Through the blood chit program, the United States Government promises to compensate anyone who assists an American service member or other Department of Defense personnel to survive, evade, resist, or escape in hostile territory and return to friendly control. Blood chits, as identified in Joint Publication 3-50.3 Annex E, are a tool used by an evader or escapee after all other measures of independent evasion and escape have failed and the evader(s) considers assistance vital to survival. Upon receiving assistance, the evader or escapee provides the assistor with the blood chit number. When the assistor or his representative presents the blood chit number to American authorities and the U.S. Government has validated the claim properly, and upon the service member’s return to friendly control, the blood chit represents an obligation of the U.S. Government to compensate the claimant, or his immediate family if the claimant is deceased, for services rendered to DoD personnel.
    The U.S. Government policy is to compensate individuals who assist American service members and other DoD personnel in hostile areas to return to friendly control, independent of whether or not the individual was issued a blood chit. The U.S. Government may also compensate individuals who risk their life, livelihood, or freedom to assist DoD personnel, who do not survive or remain missing, when reliable sources can validate the claim. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, DoD must ensure that it communicates this policy clearly and consistently.
    DoD activities shall brief their personnel on this policy and ensurethat it is followed.
    For further reading, we recommend - Last Hope : The Blood Chit Story (Schiffer Military History), by R. E. Baldwin, Thomas Wm. McGarry, Hardcover (March 1997) Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.; ISBN: 0764302221
    Commentary by Thomas Wm. McGarry, co-Author of Last Hope: "Blood Chits were NOT invented or first used by the A.V.G.

    As detailed in our book LAST HOPE, the first recorded use of what came to be known as"Blood Chits" was by members of the Royal Flying Corps 31 Squadron in India in 1917.

    While we have been unable to document how the A.V.G. first learned of these devices,we believe contact between the A.V.G. and the RAF in Burma in 1940/1941 may have lead to C. Chenault creating a version of the chits for use by the A.V.G."

    Added July 2004, by R. E. Baldwin: "On another hand the idea may have come from the Chinese themselves. In this vein, I posess a Siamese Army pilot identification card issued in 1929 that is similar to the FAI cards issued to European and American aviators. It contains a blood chit type of request for assistance for a downed pilot in written in Thai, Urdu, Chinese, French, English and German. This may be evidence that the idea for blood chits in Asia originated with the FAI cards in Europe. It is certainly evidence that the idea for blood chits was not new in Asia when the Chinese first issued them during the winter of 1938-39 to American and European members of the 14th Volunteer Bombardment Squadron, a predecessor to the A.V.G.

    Whether of European roots or an independent idea in Asia, these colorful squares of fabric have indeed saved countless lives."
  4. nickhandley

    nickhandley Junior Member

    David thank you for all the helpful info. That answered a lot of question that i had. Now i just need to try to have my grandpas chit translated. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks agian Nick.
  5. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    I'm sure if you post a copy on here someone will translate it for you.

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