First D-Day US flag to headline June 12 auction
The US flag flew above the first boat to arrive on the Normandy beaches on D-Day
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 25 May 2016
A US flag that flew above the first boat to land on the Normandy beaches on D-Day on June 6, 1944 is up for sale at Heritage Auctions.
It will star in an arms and armour auction in Dallas on June 12.
The flag is consigned from the estate of Landing Craft Control 60 pilot Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek - who died in 2014 aged 97.
LCC60 landed on Utah beach around a mile from the intended landing site.
It carried General Teddy Roosevelt (then aged 56 - son of the former president) who stepped on to the sand, looked around and made his now legendary quote: "We'll start the war from right here!"
Compared to the other beaches, such as the bloodbath that was Omaha, the troops landing at Utah experienced lesser resistance.
Around 4,000 were killed, while 30,000 or so landed safely.
The flag bears the scars of the assault, its numerous rips and tears tracing the passage of bullets and shrapnel.
It's offered with a valuation in excess of $100,000, a sum we believe it will easily exceed.
A US flag flown above landing ship LST-493, which arrived on Gold beach on June 7 (the following day), made $386,500 at Bonhams in 2014.
The present lot could easily hit the $1m mark.
The last US battle flag flown during the Vietnam War sells at Alexander Historical Auctions today.
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Images: Heritage AuctionsBy Paul Fraser