Original U.S. WWII USAAF China Burma India Blood Chit & Asiatic Series Map Survival Set
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition U.S. Army Air Forces Blood Chit & Map Survival set from the China, Burma, and India Theater of World War II. Sets such as these were standard issue to WWII Pilots flying routes over "The Hump", the eastern end of the Himalayas, which they had to cross to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) based in China.
This route was risky without the possibility of enemy attack, and crossed into numerous different areas, so the kit contained various maps and items to increase the chances of downed pilots being able to find their way to civilization, and hopefully receive a friendly welcome.
This kit is contained in an official issue soft plastic sleeve (part number illegible), and consists of:
- An original WWII China, Burma India Theater Embroidered Insignia Patch
- An Original WWII USAAF Chinese Flag "Blood Chit" No. 70324 printed on silk coated with pectin, measuring 10" by 8" This has a Chinese national flag on it, along with a short message in Chinese intended to help guide the air crew to help. This was often sewn directly onto the inside of the flight jacket.
- An Original WWII USAAF American Flag "Blood Chit" No. 727509 printed on silk coated with pectin, measuring 12" by 9.5". This has an American flag on the top, along with the same message as on the Chinese blood chit, in French, Annamese (Vietnamese), Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, and Lao.
- Small Handheld magnifying glass
- Small compass with brass housing
- USAAF WWII Dated Escape map marked AAF CLOTH MAP - ASIATIC SERIES - at the top center and titled: NO. 30, SOUTH BURMA the reverse reads NO. 31, NORTH BURMA
- USAAF WWI Dated Escape map marked AAF CLOTH MAP - ASIATIC SERIES - at the top center and titled: NO. 32, FRENCH INDO CHINA the reverse reads NO. 33, CENTRAL CHINA
- USAAF WWII Dated Escape map marked AAF CLOTH MAP - ASIATIC SERIES - at the top center and titled: NO. 34, SOUTHEAST CHINA the reverse reads NO. 35, NORTHEAST CHINA
The maps are all marked Compiled for the U.S. Army Air Forces by the Army Map Service.
This particular set is in very good condition, and definitely was not used in the field, and may have never been issued. The maps an blood chits are in excellent condition, and are somewhat hard to photograph, as they have not been unfolded for decades.
Ready to add to your collection and display!
History of the Blood Chit
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.
The idea of blood chit originates from 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 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.
United States Armed Forces
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.
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