75 Years Ago: The What-the-Hell! pennant

“What-the-Hell!” pennant. Used by Naval Group China, during World War II.

Collection of Vice Admiral Milton E. Miles, USN. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. NH 92737-KN (Color)

(Legend in the pennant’s hem, front side):

“This pennant was hoisted on 4 September 1945 on the Glen Line Building when that building was captured by the Naval Group China. The U.S. Flag, Chinese Flag, and Rear Admiral M.E. Miles’ personal flag were hoisted first by Lt. Comdr. Webb Heagy and Lt. S.I. Morris in order to signal the success of the operation.”

(Legend on the pennant’s hem, backside):

“This is an exact copy of the *original ‘What-the-Hell’ pennant which was made onboard the USS Wickes (DD-75), Lt. Cdr. R.U. Hyde ’17, Commanding, and Lt. M.E. Miles, Exec. – August 1934. The original was carried by its designer to the USS John D. Edwards (DD-216) and used in China by Lt. Cdr. M.E. Miles when his ship was ordered to Hainen Island to witness that island’s capture on 14 Feb. 1939. This insignia used as a shoulder patch by U.S. Naval Group China as a shipping designator for SACO supplies in China, 1942-1945. This pennant presented to Rear Admiral M.E. Miles at Shanghai, 4 September 1945 at # 2 Peking Road.”

*The use of the original WTH pennant is covered in the Saturday Evening Post, Nov. 10, 1945, ed, below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.