Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1941-1945 USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) 48-star U.S. Ensign

    Pearl Harbor Ship - WWII "Mighty Penn" Naval Ensign.
    The USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was the first vessel of her class. The third of four vessels to bear the name and a sister ship to the USS Arizona, both of which were at Pearl harbor on 7 December 1941. Her namesake was the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the second state to ratify the US Constitution.

    The flag is approximately 42" X 60", complying with the hoist dimensions of a U.S. Navy Size #9 ensign, is machine-sewn wool, finished with a canvas heading and grommets. The flag is heavily soiled and marked in black on the lower obverse hoist: "Philippine Sea" and "USS Pennsylvania BB-38." This ensign is a curiosity in that as a Size 9 it is smaller than the national ensigns flown by the Pennsylvania. Rather, this is likely an ensign from one of her small boats.

    Pennsey, as she was also known, was in Dry Dock #1 during the Japanese attack which protected her from torpedoes but also prevented any maneuver; she did however mount a vigorous anti-aircraft defense. As part of her crew tended to damage control, others used her ship's boats to ferry anti-aircraft ammunition from stores in the West Loch of Pearl Harbor to the ship's gunners. She claimed downing five aircraft, and suffered 15 casualties (including her executive officer), 14 missing and 38 wounded. She suffered relatively minor damage in the attack and was refloated. After repairs, USS Pennsylvania re-joined the fleet on 12 January 1942 to support amphibious operations with gunfire support in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. During WWII, she was at Makin Island, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, the Marianas and Palau campaign, Saipan, Guam, Peleliu, Angaur, the Philippines campaign and finally the Battle of Okinawa, where she was hit by a Japanese torpedo bomber and badly damaged. After the war Pennsey was repaired just enough to make her way to Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads. She survived both blasts and, after two years of studying her radioactivity, she was scuttled at Kwajalein in 1948.

    During WWII the Pennsylvania earned: Navy Commendation Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with eight campaign stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

    The ensign of the Pennsylvania is in Good to Fair condition - used, worn, soiled and repaired.

    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: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 564

    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)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 19 Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search