Last on
Saturday December 06, 2008

Click HERE for Webmaster's
Sub Web pages URL list

Welcome to my web page of
WWII Submarine Battle Flags

In doing some online searches, I found a web page at:
that did not exist when I created this web page
some 5 years ago. I do not like to "WORK" in doing
duplication of information.
Here are more web sites:

So until I have time to check the above web sites and
make a list of all their Battle Flags, this page will remain
as is .....
If I have any Flag graphic that is not on the above web site,
I will post it here. This page will remain online as there
is some good information on it as it is ........
6 December 2008

USS Sculpin SS-191 (This one hung in the
USS Sculpin SSN-590  Webmaster's Qual boat)

USS Sea Devil SS-400
Webmaster's First boat


USS Pargo





USS Flasher SS-249


USS Barb SS-220

USS Bergall SS-320


USS Rock SS-274

This was sent me along with Rock Battle Flag


USS Blenny SS-324

This was sent to me along with Blenny Battle Flag


USS Queenfish SS-393

USS Sea Robin SS-407 
(Webmaster's "First Dive" boat)


The Sea Lion SS-195 (SeaLion I).
This boat was the first submarine lost in WWII
(Cavite) before she made a single war patrol.
The flag you show is for SS-315 (Sealion II),
the only American submarine to ever sink a
Battleship (the RJN Kongo). The reason I know
this info is that my father (and his brother) were
sub sailors  throughout the war in the Pacific
and I qualified on the Sealion APSS-315
 in 1967. Michael (Wheels) Wheeler

      USS Sealion (not Sea Lion - changed to two
 words in late 40's) is from the 2nd Sealion
(SS-315 not 195, which never had a battle flag
 having been sunk 12/8/41)  ....  John Clear

USS Sealion SS-315


USS Torsk SS-423

USS Spot SS-413

USS Swordfish  SS-193

USS Tang SS-306


USS Grouper SS-214

USS Ronquil SS-396

Link to web page


Photo of the BREAM battle flag is to the left.
Some info from Warren Shaw who was a
GM3 on  her last 3 patrols.
The swastika was for what the skipper
thought was a small German tanker.
Turned out to be a small Japanese tender.
The life ring is for picking up a pilot.
 The crossed oars over a 5 is for a patrol
where they put some Aussie rangers ashore.
The mine is for a patrol laying mines, of course.
The 6 red bars indicate she made six patrols
(5 were classified successful).
The big red moon was used because the
commissioning skipper was
 Wreford "Moon" Chapple
and the crew thought very highly of him.
The albatross was for good luck.

USS Bream SS-243
Link 1  -  Link 2


USS Tunny SS-282

USS Atule SS-403


USS Thresher SS-200

End of War photo (Supplied by Ric Hedman)


USS Sea Fox SS-402

Second one submitted
and a different web page link


USS Redfish SS-395

From web page at:

7 Aug 44     NAGARA                        Cruiser  5,700
14 Aug 44   DAIGEN MARU  No.7   Cargo   1,289
17 Aug 44   SANSHO MARU            Cargo    6,862
 9 Oct 44     SHINKI MARU              Cargo    2,211
23 Oct 44    MIKAGE MARU            Cargo   2,761
 24 Oct 44   BYAKURAN MARU     Cargo      887
6 Vessels                                                        19,710
* These figures are taken from the Joint Army—
Navy Assessment Committee report. It was during CROAKER’S second war patrol that the ESCOLAR
(SS-294) was last heard from.Also if noticed on the
 Battle Flag, there are four Kangaroos, well, these
were picked off by by crew members during a refit
period, while in Australia.

USS Jack  SS-259


Battle flag of USS Flying Fish

During World War II, USS Flying Fish patrolled the
 waters off of Midway, Taiwan, Iwo Jima and the
Marianas Islands. While under the command of
Commander Robert D. Risser, and Lieutenant
Commander  Julian T. Burke,  Flying Fish received
12 battle stars and was credited with  damaging a
Japanese battleship. She was also one of the first
boats to be outfitted with  mine detection gear for
use in the Sea of Japan. The flag shows that
Flying Fish
had sunk six warships and 13 merchant
vessels in its 12 war patrols by late May 1945.  

USS Flying Fish SS-229


Battle Flag of USS Balao
From 25 July 1943 to 27 August 1945,
USS Balao served in the Pacific Ocean.
Her flag shows that Balao destroyed one
warship and nine merchant vessels during
her ten patrol. Postwar assessments, however, reduced the claim to seven Japanese ships
totaling 36,500 tons plus an additional
1,100 tons of enemy small craft.
For her services in World War II, Balao
received nine battle stars. Balao's flag was designed by a Disney artist at the request of
 Motor Machinist's Mate 3rd class
William G. Hartley in 1945.

USS Balao SS-285


Battle Flag of USS Spot
Commissioned on 19 May 1944, USS Spot
registered the destruction of 16 merchant
vessels on her three war patrols in the Pacific. Much more elaborate than the other flags,
Spot's flag not only records the number of
kills, but also lists the ships' names. As seen
on the flag, Spot successfully shelled the
radio station at Kokuzan and disabled the passenger freighter Foochow. She received
four battle stars for her services in
World War II.

USS Spot SS-413


Battle Flag of USS Gurnard

Launched 1 June 1942, Gurnard first patrolled the
Bay of Biscay for German blockade runners. By 12
June 1943, she was transferred to the Pacific Ocean. There, Gurnard received six battle stars and the
Navy Unit Commendation, while her captain,
Lieutenant Commander C.H. Andrews,
earned the Navy Cross. Gurnard had one of the
highest single patrol tonnage scores during World
War II -- 29,700 tons. Her battle flag shows that she destroyed 12 combatant and merchant vessels.
The flag also records the  total tonnage of the ships
sunk. However, postwar study proved that Gurnard succeeded in sinking only 10 ships -- 57,866 tons.


             WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Submarine Battle Flags of World War II

Battle flags in World War II kept an unofficial record of the number of ships
a submarine sank. Warships were represented by the rising sun version of the
Japanese flag, while the merchant vessels were represented by the "meatball"
flags. The submarine's logo was also featured on the flag. The difficulties in
assessing actual damage from attacks on the enemy led many submarines to
overestimate their successes. After the war, an Allied naval review board
discovered inaccuracies as great as thirty percent during an examination of
Japanese losses credited to American submarines.

Below Battle Flag History by Ron "Warshot" Smith is from Web page
Great web site on
 RADM Eugene B. Fluckey, USN (Ret.)
Historical Reflection - Message to Today's Submariners

pg25_shp.gif (9440 bytes)


by Ron "Warshot" Smith

The origin of the submarine battle flag in World War II is a matter of some speculation, because before 1942, U.S. submarines did not own or display them. During late 1942 or early 1943, however, it became customary for a broom to be tied to the shears of a submarine returning from a successful patrol, indicating that it had made a “clean sweep” or sunk everything possible. In 1944, pennants were added to the brooms to indicate the number of kills. A Japanese flag denoted each ship sunk, with a solid orange circle on a white background for merchant ships and a rising sun for warships. Occasionally, these flags were also painted on the conning tower. This spontaneous and informal practice soon evolved into the creation of larger, more elaborate pennants, which included the submarine’s particular insignia, often borrowed from a crewmember’s “Submarine Jacket.” This emblem was sewn into the pennant, along with symbols denoting additional kills and distinctive accomplishments, as sort of a “living history” of the sub’s career. During 1944, Disney Studios, already involved in designing military insignia for both the United States and its allies, also designed submarine insignia. In all, the studio designed more than 30 fish insignia, which were assigned to submarines. Thus, on the Submarine Battle Flag – of which Barb’s is such a great example – was born.   
is another Battle Flags web site - Boats 229, 254, 285, & 413  

Other Web pages from "Battle Flags" Google search include:^nv~01.html#ffish


Submarine Veterans - If you're not a member of USSVI please check
the organization out at:

If you are the original creator of material featured on this website
and want it removed, please contact the webmaster. Click



 ----  Special Notice ! ----

I had a hard drive failure on my desktop computer in February
2006. I recovered some files but lost a lot of e-mails that had many
flags and etc sent to me, that I had not posted on this web page.
So if you know you sent me a Submarine Battle Flag (s)
and it is not posted on this web page, please send it to me again.

It will take me a while to rebuild this page and add recently
sent additions. Check back every once in a while, and hopefully
I'll be making some progress. Thank you for your patience.

Corrections, mistrakes, links not working, or if you want to add a flag
or some information, e-mail me at:
I hope you enjoy this web page.


Web Server space and page Design donated by donmac - AKA Don Smith
Life Member of: USSVI National, Seattle, Bremerton, LIB, and South Sound Bases
Edited with Microsoft Front Page. Problems and or questions, click HERE to e-mail me.
Some material on this web site may be copyrighted




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