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    Description

    Pearl Harbor Ship - USS Narwhal (SS-167) Flown 45-star US Ensign of USS Iowa (BB-4).

    This is a US Ensign that went to war twice! Once during the Spanish-American War when it was flown by then USS Iowa (BB-4) and again during WWII aboard the USS Narwhal (SS-167).

    This flag is an approximately 48" X 84" wool, U.S. 45-star flag with double appliqué stars and sewn stripes finished with a canvas header and metal grommets. It is marked on the upper obverse hoist: "STANDARD 4 X 7" and on the upper reverse hoist: "Tony Chalmers 45 ? 1896." The "Standard" mark was used by the U.S. Bunting Company to indicate that the wool bunting met or exceeded U.S. Government specifications. However, since it was not a protected trademark, it was utilized by other manufacturers as well, so exact identification is impossible.

    The papers accompanying the flag refer to a Lt. Chalmers. This is presumably the name referenced on the hoist of the flag, whose father apparently served on the Iowa. What's not known is: was Lt. Chalmers a crewman or a passenger aboard the Narwhal? During WWII, because of her size and capacity, the nature of the Narwhal's War Patrols was changed from attacks against enemy vessels to supporting guerrillas in the Philippines with material support, landing and evacuating personnel.

    The Narwhal, the lead ship of her class, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the narwhal, a tusked whale. She was commissioned in 1930 and spent most of her prewar career in the Pacific. On the morning of 7 December 1941, she was moored in berth S-9 in the Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor. Within four minutes of the start of the attack, all four of her machine guns were in action and she is credited with an assist in the destruction of a torpedo bomber.
    She would make a total of fifteen war patrols during WWII. Her first six were typical submarine duty, attacking enemy shipping, scouting for the fleet, screening for carriers, clandestine insertions and creating diversions. She would sink the Taki Maru, two inter-island freighters, Meiwa Maru and the Hokusho Maru and, although her tonnage was not great, her contributions on the next nine war patrols were.
    Starting in January 1943, Narwhal made nine round trips to the Philippines in support of United States forces. She landed war material, secret cargos and guerrilla leaders and then evacuated families, women, children and the wounded until Liberation. This flag provides an unique opportunity for the advanced collector of the Spanish-American War, the submarine service, WWII, Pearl Harbor and the guerrilla War in the Philippines.

    The WWII awards of the USS Narwhal are: American Defense Service Medal with "FLEET" clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with fifteen campaign stars and World War II Victory Medal. She is among the most decorated vessels of WWII.

    This flag is in Good condition - it is used, worn and soiled with small holes throughout, likely from mothing, but is otherwise intact.

    Provenance: Lt. Anthony Chalmers.

    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: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 743

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