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    Description

    34th Bombardment Group (Heavy) - Camp/Base Flag. Flying the B-17 "Flying Fortress," the 34th Bombardment Group was activated in January 1941. Composed of four Squadrons and a reconnaissance unit, their motto was, "Valor to Victory."

    This camp or base flag is a 40" X 66", 48-star, double applique, sewn stripe, bunting flag finished with a 2" canvas header and wartime white metal grommets. Affixed to the upper obverse hoist of the flag is a U.S. Army Air Force shoulder sleeve patch. The flag is heavily marked with names, bombing target sites, and unit history. In cursive on the obverse hoist are, "Maj. Barnes," "Lt. Lemon [or possibly Lt. Simon]," and a third illegible name. Additionally, it is inscribed, "BERLIN, BILELFELD, DARMSTADT, HANOVER," "MENDLESHAM SUPPORT "BULGE"," and "34TH BOMB GP. 8TH AF NORMANDY BOMBING."

    They began their service preforming anti-submarine patrols in the Atlantic until they transitioned into a heavy bomber training command on the West Coast. The 34th provided a number of cadres for additional bombing groups. They shifted to flying B-24 "Liberators" in January of 1944 before being assigned to the Eighth Air Force. The group arrived at its permanent station, RAF Mendlesham, England, in April 1944 and entered combat on May 23, 1944. In August of 1944 the Bomb Group was again assigned B-17s, and assigned to bomb strategic objectives in Germany. Targets included marshalling yards in Ludwigshaven, Hamm, Osnabruck, and Darmstadt; oil centers in Bielefeld, Merseburg, Hamburg, and Misburg; factories in Berlin, Dalteln, and Hannover; and airfields in Munster, Neumunster, and Frankfurt.

    The group was also detailed to support tactical objectives in the support of ground operations during the Normandy campaign where they had supported the landing by attacking coastal defenses and communications. They continued to take part in the campaign in France by supporting ground forces at St. Lo and by striking V-weapon sites, gun emplacements, and supply lines throughout the summer. They were again tasked to support Army ground troops during the Battle of the Bulge.

    In early 1945, there were fewer and fewer strategic industrial targets and the 34th turned to interdicting enemy communications and supporting Allied advances. They flew their last combat mission in April of 1945. After VE Day they carried food to the Netherlands and were used to return allied POWs from Germany. They were inactivated in August of 1945.

    Named, identified and documented USAAF flags rarely come to auction.

    The 34th Bombardment Group was awarded the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five campaign stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

    Condition: This flag is in good condition. It is used, worn and soiled but is otherwise complete.

    This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information.

    For those who did not receive a hard copy of the auction catalog, we present here the introductory comments and history of Dr. Rungee and his remarkable collection. If you scroll further, you will also find various contemporary newspaper articles, as well as a selection of the many letters of donation and transmittal which accompanied the collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
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