Saturday, January 14, 2012

"What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" -- Part 2

While looking through a box of files, the outside of which had been damaged by water at my rented storage facility, I found a document of my father's that I had thought was lost.  And I am so pleased that I did find it!!

Commonly known as a "blood chit" (link), this item was used primarily by air crews to aid in escape and evasion if shot down behind enemy lines.  My father's blood chit was issued to US Army Air Force flight crews who might fall into Russian hands in order to identify them as Americans.  It is in almost perfect condition and included the heavy-duty plastic sleeve with the "dummy cord" still attached.

"Front" of the blood chit with pronunciation guide for "I am an American" and message to contact the American military mission in Moscow.

"Back" of the blood chit with smaller version of front image/phrases and instructions for using the chit.  Notice the warning in number 5 and the caveat in number 6.

"Front" of chit in the heavy-duty plastic sleeve, with attached "dummy cord"

"Rear" of chit in heavy-duty plastic sleeve, with attached "dummy cord"

According to the Snyder's Treasure web site (link), these chits were made of very thin dense woven rayon and measured approximately 9-1/2" x 7-1/2" when unfolded.  When folded into quarters and put into the plastic sleeve, these chits could be carried in the pocket of the airman's flight suit.  Luckily my father never had to use his!

The first part of this series is here:  link.