"A short snorter is a banknote inscribed by people traveling together on an aircraft. The tradition was started by Alaskan bush flyers in the 1920s and spread through the military and commercial aviation. During World War II short snorters were signed by flight crews and conveyed good luck to soldiers crossing the Atlantic. Friends would take the local currency and sign each other's bills creating a "keepsake of your buddy's signatures".
The General Hoyt Vandenberg short snorter was started in June 1942 flight over the mid-Atlantic. The Harry Hopkins short snorter was collected on July 25, 1942, by an aide of Franklin D. Roosevelt at a London Conference. The D. Ray Comish short snorter was collected January 1943 at the Casablanca Conference by Dixie Clipper. The Averell Harriman short snorter was collected by him at the January 1943 Casablanca Conference as well. The General George S. Patton snorter signatures were also collected at the Casablanca Conference. The Yalta short snorter signatures were collected on February 4–11, 1945 by Steve Early at Yalta, on the Crimean Peninsula.
Merriam-Webster defines a short snorter as either "a member of an informal club for which a pilot, crew member, or passenger who has made a transoceanic flight is eligible"; or "a piece of paper money (as a dollar bill) endorsed by short snorters as a membership certificate for a new member." "Snort" is slang for a "mixed drink," and "short" specifies less than a full measure.
According to a November 2002 article in The Numismatist, "About 100 years ago, a “short snort” was a slang expression for less than a full shot of liquor. Pouring short snorts guaranteed barkeepers a little extra profit in each bottle. Also, drinking only a short snort allowed the imbiber to honestly point to his moderation. Years before federal aviation regulations, pilots discovered that alcohol and airplanes do not mix, and fly-boys who drank heavily did not live long. Soon, pilots jokingly were calling each other “short snorter.”