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    Normandy Attack Ship - USS Samuel Chase (APA-26) - "Lucky Chase" and "The Battleship".
    USS Samuel Chase (APA-26), originally the SS African Meteor, was an Arthur Middleton-class attack transport, commissioned in 1942. She was named for Samuel Chase, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence from Maryland and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Manned by the United States Coast Guard, she participated in all five of the major U.S. amphibious invasions in the European Theater of Operations: Operation Torch, Operation Husky, Operation Avalanche, D-Day and Operation Dragoon.

    This ensign of the Samuel Chase is a 60" x 96" cotton, 48-star, dye printed-star field, sewn stripes, finished with heading and grey metal wartime grommets. The flag is marked on the upper reverse hoist "USS Samuel Chase (APA-246)".

    The Samuel Chase was an attack transport. These were designed to transport troops and their equipment to hostile shores in order to execute amphibious invasions. They were equipped with a substantial number of integral landing craft and heavily armed with antiaircraft weaponry to protect themselves and their vulnerable cargo of troops from air attack in the battle zone.

    Her first combat operation was the invasion of North Africa where she delivered troops to Algeria. Enroute, she was narrowly missed by a torpedo, her first of several close brushes with disaster under persistent enemy air and submarine attack which earned her first nickname, "The Lucky Chase". So intense was anti-aircraft fire that the British nicknamed her "The Battleship." Her next combat assignments were the Invasions of Sicily and Salerno before she was detailed to Operation Neptune, the naval assault and bombardment portion of Operation Overlord, the Invasion of Europe. Attached to the Western Task Force's "O" Force, Chase was a part of Assault Force 124.3 tasked with delivering troops to Omaha Beach. The Samuel Chase arrived on station at 03:15 and the command "Lower Away" was given and her cargo of troops from the 1st Infantry Division assigned to Easy Red Beach began to climb into their landing crafts. Aboard the Chase were the photographer Robert Capa and the author Ernst Hemmingway. When the small landing craft passed the battleships bombarding the shore, he described the scene thusly: "Under their steel helmets they looked like pacemen of the Middle Ages to whose aid in battle had suddenly come some strange and unbelievable monster." All of the Chase's boats got away without incident and she launched 15 assault waves and, by 11:00, all of the 1st Division troops and equipment had disembarked, only to be replaced by a steady stream of wounded. She returned to England on the 7th. After Normandy, Chase participated in the landings in Southern France before she was transferred to the Pacific. She arrived in the Philippines in March of 1945, but struck a shoal during training and had to return to San Francisco for repairs, after which she participated in Operation Magic Carpet, the return of U.S. servicemen. This would make a welcome addition to a D-Day, naval war in Europe and a WWII collection.

    The USS Samuel Chase received the following awards for her WWII service: USN Combat Action Ribbon, two awards; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four campaign stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one campaign star; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Medal with ASIA clasp; China Service Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal.

    The ensign is in Good to Fair Condition - used, worn, torn and soiled. The entire fly edge is frayed and there are several small holes near the hoist edge.

    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 and a categorization of the collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2019
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 463

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