This is a portion of Abbot’s World War II homeward bound pennant, which was flown from the mainmast in August 1945. Upon arrival at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, it was cut up and divided among the crew.
According to Navy tradition, ships at sea for more than 270 days can fly such a pennant when returning to the United States. The length of the pennant is one foot for each crewman who served more than 270 days, not to exceed the length of the ship. In the blue field, one star is shown for the first nine months at sea and an additional star for each six full months. Upon arrival in the United States, the commanding officer is given the blue portion and the rest of the crew equally divides the red-and-white portion.
Abbot’s war cruise lasted one day short of two continuous years, so the number of stars would have been three: 9 months + (2 × 6 months). Abbot’s length was 376 feet and the crew numbered about 329 — most of whom had been with the ship more than nine months — so the pennant probably measured about 340 feet. It was probably sewn at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
[Courtesy of Milbern Horkman]