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    Description

    Normandy Assault Craft - Utah Beach - USS LCI(L)-326. USS LCI(L)-326 was commissioned in February 1943 and assigned to the landings in North Africa. She was a Landing Craft Infantry, one of over 900 purpose-built "Elsie Items," that could land up to 200 fully equipped infantry. Traveling from rear bases directly to a beachhead, the LCI was the largest dedicated beachable infantry landing craft; smaller than the Landing Ship Infantry (LSI), but larger than a Higgins boat.

    The ensign of the 326 is a 48-star, cotton, printed starfield flag with sewn stripes and finished with a canvas header and grommets. It is marked on the upper obverse hoist, "Sgt. Keller UTAH BEACH FORCE U FLOTILLA 10 LSI-326 #128 4X6 48?." Sadly, further identification of Sgt. Keller has proven elusive.

    The LCI(L) 326 convoyed across the Atlantic for Operation Torch in 1943. She landed troops in Tunisia, and then again in Sicily and again in Italy at Salerno before transiting to England to train for Operation Neptune, the maritime component of Operation Overlord, the landings in Normandy.

    She was assigned to Force U, Flotilla 10, a U.S. Coast Guard manned formation consisting of 24 LCI(L)s. She was tasked to deliver Texans from the 359th Infantry of the 90th Division's "Tough Hombres" to Utah Beach. Her skipper, LT Samuel W. Allison, USCGR, successfully landed on D-Day and then, realizing that a command and control craft was urgently needed, volunteered for this duty. In the face of the chaos of the landing beach, the concentrated shell fire and constant threat of exploding mines, effectively directed boat traffic throughout the remainder of the initial assault. For this he was awarded the Silver Star.

    After Normandy the LCI(L)-326 returned to the states for a refit before transferring to the Pacific where she participated in the Okinawa Campaign.

    During WWII the USS LCI(L)-326 was awarded: The Navy Combat Action Ribbon, Coast Guard Unit Commendation, American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal with four campaign stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one campaign star, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp.

    Condition: This ensign is in good to fair condition. It is used, worn, torn, and soiled. The fly edge is starting to tear, but 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.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
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