HISTORY OF THE BATTLE FLAGS
Here are Jack Monroe's comments with copies of original sketches.
Your inquiry concerning the origin of the Tinosa Battle Flag set me running through memory lane and, through the maize and fog, this is what emerged.
On one of the patrol runs on the Tinosa, I decided to dramatize the old girl and scratched out a cartoon showing her upright on her stern planes with a machine gun cradled in her bow planes and a snarl of rage curling her noble lips. I intended to send this to my parents so they would have an idea of the tremendous battling capability of our beloved sub but was foiled in the attempt by Captain Latham.
As you know, our mail was censored, and the Captain saw the cartoon, liked it, took it from my letter and put it in his letter to his wife and youngsters.
Imagine my surprise when the Captain came to me later, very penitent and subdued, confessing in total candor his misdeed and enlisting my support for a new effort. It seems that his youngsters thought the submarine their Daddy was on was a bad, mean submarine and they cried and cried and cried. Mrs. Latham had transmitted this information to the Captain and asked him to contact the man who created this Frankenstein so a happy submarine picture could be created and dispatched to the children.
Believe me, the happiest submarine you ever saw in your life was in the mail that day and apparently laid to rest the worry and concern that had plagued the Latham family.
I believe at this time, Watrous and Pearson were discussing a battle flag for the Tinosa and liked the idea of the bad, mean submarine as a centerpiece. The rest is history. They apparently succeeded in persuading the Captain that a battle flag was not only necessary but also mandatory.
Incidentally, when Jack Polis visited, he had with him the original sketch of the bad, mean submarine on a piece of tissue paper. Apparently this sketch was used to give the flag maker an idea of our battle insignia.
I am still amazed and flattered that so many of my Shipmates have kept copies of my cartoons. All I can say is "thank you".