From: Bill Betterton HT3 - R Division: "I served on LITTLE ROCK Sep 75 - Aug 76. Found the following info at:
HOMEWARD BOUND PENNANT The homeward bound pennant is flown by ships returning from extended overseas tours. The pennant is authorized for display by a ship that has been on duty outside the limits of the United States continuously for at least 9 months. It is hoisted on getting under way for the United States and may be flown until sunset on the day of arrival in a port of destination. The pennant is similar to the commission pennant, but instead of the usual seven stars, there is one star for the first 9 months of overseas duty and one star for each additional 6 months. Total length of the pennant customarily is 1 foot for each officer and enlisted crew member who served overseas for a period in excess of 9 months. When the number of personnel produces an unwieldy pennant, the length of the pennant is restricted to the length of the ship. Upon arrival in a port of the United States, the blue portion containing the stars is presented to the commanding officer. The remainder of the pennant is divided equally among the officers and enlisted crew.
Ed. Note; Another good source for Flag data is: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeohzt4/Seaflags/customs/customs.html#holidays
From Mike Poston - FTM2: "I served on the 'Rock' from Jan 1969 - Jul 1973, FM Div., and have a piece of the 'Homeward-Bound' pennant flown in 1970. If I'm not mistaken, that pennant was one of the longest in Naval history".
Received from CWO Wilbur "Jim" Brown, Ship's Bos'n. 1970 - 1972: "I was on the 'Rock' in '70 when we sailed from Gaeta to Newport with the homeward bound pennant flying all the way home."
Vincent Walker - HT2 sent us the following: "Well I served on the Little Rock from June 1973 until it was decommissioned in 1976. I was one of the 25 longest sailors to serve onboard before it was decommissioned. I do not remember this pennant, and I certainly did not get a piece of this pennant. Did I miss something here? Well, since I road her over and took her back does that mean I can get added to
the list? (See Editor's Note #2 below.)
Shipmate Harlan R. Nelson - SM3 wrote: "I served aboard the 'Rock' 1967 thru 1970. I have a piece of the pennant. Was discharged upon arrival to States.
Ed. Note 1: I'm not sure if the above graphic is what the homeward bound pennant looked like. If anyone has a picture of the actual pennant being flown or a picture of another, we would like to have it here. We would like to have all your stories and add your name to a list of Sailors who have sailed under the homeward bound pennant. Send us your name and date you sailed and we will add it to the list below.
Ed. Note 2: That's an interesting point Vincent. I don't recall hearing about a Homeward Bound pennant flown on last trip the ship made from the Med in 1976. There certainly was one for the 1970 trip home. (See the entry for 24 Aug 1970 in the "Chronology 1966-1973" web page.) If there was a pennant for the 1976 trip, maybe someone can verify that for us.
Never having been in a situation where I earned a piece of a Homeward Bound pennant I don't know what the process is by which the pennant is divided up and distributed. If there was a pennant for 1976, maybe one of the eligible guys got two pieces! Never-the-less Vincent, I've still added your name to the list below.