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    Normandy Assault Transport - Omaha Beach USS Henrico (APA-45). USS Henrico (APA-45), commissioned in June 1943, was a Bayfield-class attack transport during World War II. She was laid down as the SS Sea Darter, a cargo vessel, but was reclassified as an attack transport during construction. She is named in honor of Henrico County, Virginia, the original site of the plantation where colonist John Rolfe, the 1st successful cultivator of tobacco, lived with his Native American Indian wife, Pocahontas.

    The ensign of the Henrico is a 61" X 109", Bulldog brand, cotton bunting, 48-star, double applique, sewn stripe flag finished with a canvas header and two grey metal wartime grommets. The flag bears a Dettra Flag maker's mark on the upper obverse hoist and is inscribed, "USS HENRICO."

    After her commissioning, Henrico entered a vigorous training phase with Army combat teams. She left for Europe in February of 1944 to renew her training for amphibious operations at Normandy. She was assigned to Task Force "O," Assault Group O-1 (124.3), and slotted to land troops at H Hour +:01 on the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Aboard her were Cos. E and F of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, and the1st Infantry Division.

    Under heavy fire, the Henrico's landing craft dropped their ramps and the carnage began. Soldiers were killed and wounded as they attempted to land with water logged equipment. Those that made it ashore, across the beach, and to the bluff found the area mined and entangled. It was the 16th 's regimental commander who yelled, "The only men who remain on this beach are the dead and those who are about to die! Let's get moving!" By noon, the 16th broke through the beach defenses.

    Meanwhile, Henrico began to receive wounded from the beaches and returned to England later on "D-Day." She returned to Normandy on shuttle duty June 19th. In July, Henrico reported to the Mediterranean for the invasion of Southern France and, after landing her troops, reprised her shuttle operations, landing troops and cargo until ordered to the States to prepare for transfer to the Pacific.

    Henrico arrived in Pearl Harbor in January of 1945, and was sent to the Philippines for amphibious operations against Okinawa, Her assignment was strategic Krema Islands; necessary for a staging area. The Japanese air attacks were constant and, on April 2nd, Henrico fell victim to a kamikaze attack that struck her bridge and killed 49 of her crew, including her skipper. After Okinawa, she sailed to the States for a refit. She arrived in May and was still there when hostilities ended. After the war, she had a long career serving in both Korea and Vietnam.

    Flags used on D-Day by any Normandy, Omaha Beach ship are highly sought by serious collectors.

    For her WWII service the USS Henrico was awarded: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, China Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa-Middle Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one campaign star, World War II Victory Medal, and a Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp.

    Condition: The ensign of the Henrico is in good condition. It is used, worn, soiled, and torn with small holes in the canton and several tears in the fly edge, 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 293

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