Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Pearl Harbor Ship - USS Solace Hospital Ship (AH-5).
    The USS Solace (AH-5) was built in 1927 as the passenger liner SS Iroquois. She was acquired by the Navy in 1940 for conversion into a hospital ship. Painted white and marked with red crosses, she was rechristened and commissioned in 1941 as the USS Solace, the second ship so named and the first of thirteen US Navy Hospital ships used in WWII. She was the only such vessel at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

    The ensign is a huge 126" X 218" bunting 48-star, double appliqué, sewn stripe flag, finished with a roped light canvas header with loops top & bottom. The flag is unmarked. This is typical of the oversized national ensigns used on hospital ships.

    The Solace, as a hospital ship, took no offensive or defensive measures during the attack. As soon as the nature of the attack was discerned, Solace prepared for action, closed her watertight doors and prepared to get underway in order to move closer to stricken ships. She put together an emergency ward and dispatched her two motor launches with stretcher parties to the Arizona. The first casualties were received at about 08:20. All hands turned to and her doctors, nurses, and corpsmen gave heroic service, some even boarding the burning Arizona to rescue the injured. She repeated her actions with the West Virginia and again with the Oklahoma. Honoring the rules of the Geneva Convention, and doubtless due to her white paint and red crosses, the attacking Japanese aircraft did not hit her and she was one of the few ships not damaged during the attack. Solace would go on to serve throughout the War in the Pacific. She sailed all over the South Pacific - Samoa, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and Fiji where she both treated and transported the wounded from the various campaigns. During the war, the Solace evacuated and treated more battle casualties than any other hospital ship, and with a mortality rate lower than that of a civilian hospital. She admitted and treated over 25,000 patients, 70% of whom were battle casualties. Between December 1941 and July 1945, Solace would steam over 170,000 nautical miles without a major yard overhaul. After the war, she participated in Operation Magic Carpet to repatriate American servicemen. This ensign would be a great addition to a Pearl Harbor, Naval War, WWII, hospital or medical collection.

    For her service during WWII, the USS Solace was awarded: the US Navy Combat Action Ribbon for Pearl Harbor; Navy Unit Commendation; American Defense Service Medal with FLEET clasp; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with seven campaign stars and the World War II Victory Medal.

    The ensign of the Solace is in Good Condition - used, worn, soiled, crocked with numerous repairs, including a major repair of the entire lower fly, 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
    December, 2019
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 378

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 30 days left to consign to the 2020 May 3 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674