Tuesday, 24 January 2017

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First US D-Day flag realises $514,000 in militaria auction

The flag flew above the first US boat to arrive in Normandy on D-Day



A US flag that flew above the first boat to land on the Normandy beaches on D-Day has sold for $514,000.

It was offered at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on June 12, with an estimate in excess of $100,000.

Flag US D-Day
Lieutenant Howard Van Der Beek brought the flag home after the war

We believe it to be the most valuable second world war battle flag ever sold.

The late Lieutenant Howard Van Der Beek, pilot of Landing Craft Control 60, was the original owner of the flag - which was consigned from his estate.

He died in 2014 at the age of 97, having spent his post-war years as a writer and English teacher.

LCC60 arrived at Utah beach early in the morning of June 6, 1944, albeit some distance from its intended landing point.

In addition to men of the Eighth Infantry Regiment, it also carried General Teddy Roosevelt - son of the former president.

Roosevelt (then aged 56) famously stepped on to the sand and said: "We'll start the war from right here".

The flag is torn by shrapnel and displays holes ripped by the paths of stray bullets.

As Marsha Dixey of Heritage explained to the Daily Mail: "The fact of its survival is nothing less than a testament to the irresistible force of the American will."

Another flag flown above LST-943, which arrived on Gold beach on June 7, 1944 made $386,500 at Bonhams in 2014.

You can take a look at our militaria selection for sale here.

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Images: Heritage Auctions

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Last updated: 13 June 2016