Original U.S. WWII Army Air Forces China-Burma-India Theater Handpainted Leather Blood Chit
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very lovely original leather blood shit. It bears a World War Two painted Chinese National Flag with Chinese Characters at the bottom also painted. The chit measures approximately 7 ½” by 5 ¼”.
This would have been stitched to the back or inside lining of a U.S. Aviator flight jacket. These were issued as part of the standard contents of a China Burma India Survival set.
A blood chit is a notice carried by military personnel and addressed to any civilians who may come across an armed-services member – such as a shot-down pilot – in difficulties. As well as identifying the force to which the bearer belongs as friendly, the notice displays a message requesting that the service member be rendered every assistance.
Some CBI crew members had problems with the flags sewn to the backs of their jackets. It was reported that a few who landed in Communist Chinese territory with the Nationalist flag emblazoned on their jackets had difficulty explaining their allegiance to the Nationalists. Many had their flags sewn on the inside.
This is truly a wonderful example of an original blood chit which helped to identify the downed pilots overseas so that they could be helped. Comes ready to display!
The first blood chit may have been made in 1793 when French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard demonstrated his hot air balloon in the United States. Because he could not control the direction of the balloon, no one knew where he would land. Because Blanchard did not speak English, George Washington, according to legend, gave him a letter that said that all U.S. citizens were obliged to assist him to return to Philadelphia.
In World War I, British Royal Flying Corps pilots in India and Mesopotamia carried a "goolie chit" printed in four local languages that promised a reward to anyone who would bring an unharmed British aviator back to British lines. The British officer John Masters recorded in his autobiography that Pathan women in the North-West Frontier Province (1901–1955) of British India (now modern day Pakistan) during the Anglo-Afghan Wars would behead and castrate non Muslim soldiers who were captured, like British and Sikhs.
In the Second Sino-Japanese War prior to World War II, foreign volunteer pilots of Flying Tigers carried notices printed in Chinese that informed the locals that this foreign pilot was fighting for China and they were obliged to help them. A text from one such blood chit translates as follows:
“I am an American airman. My plane is destroyed. I cannot speak your language. I am an enemy of the Japanese. Please give me food and take me to the nearest Allied military post.
You will be rewarded.”
When the U.S. officially entered World War II in December 1941, flight crew survival kits included blood chits printed in 50 different languages that sported an American flag and promised a reward for a safe return of a pilot. The kit might also include gifts like gold coins, maps or sewing needles. Many U.S. flight crews that flew over Asia had their "blood chit" sewn to the back of their flight jackets. Some units added the blood chit to the crew's flight suits while other units gave the blood chit out only for specific flights. Currently, blood chits are a product of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. These recent government-issue items are a small sheet of Tyvek material with an American flag and a statement in several languages indicating that the U.S. will reward anyone assisting the bearer to safety. They constitute a written promise of the US Government.
While serving in the Global War on Terrorism, some U.S. service members were issued "blood chips" that looked similar to bearer bonds and guaranteed $500,000 for "aid and safe return". They were issued before missions for select ground and convoy personnel, and were placed inside a soldier's ballistic vest prior to missions.
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