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Wool forty-eight star U.S. flag. Appliqued stars. National Ensign from the USS Ralph Talbot, a destroyer in the U.S. Navy fleet. The Talbot was anchored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked, but made it out of the area with no damage or casualties. The Talbot was later involved in the Battle of the Marshalls and Gilberts in February of 1942 and the Battle of Wake and Marcus Islands in March of 1942. The flag was the USS Ralph Talbot's streaming colors, flying behind the smokestacks when the ship was underway. It was flown on the Talbot as it steamed out of Pearl Harbor. Sharitt Baker acquired the flag while serving on the USS Ralph Talbot during the war. Baker was born in Topeka in 1917 and enlisted in the Navy in 1938. He was assigned to the Talbot as a Third Class Petty Officer in 1939 or 1940. The flag was exchanged for a new one by the Quartermaster just before dawn on February 1, 1942, the morning of the raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. While it was standard procedure to burn a flag once it was retired, Baker received tacit permission from the Quartermaster to keep the flag. While still on the Talbot, Baker stored the flag under his mattress to keep it flat.

Creator: United States. Navy
Date: between 1940 and 1942

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American flag - 1

Item Number: 312498
KSHS Identifier: 2015.28.1

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