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    D-Day "First to Land" Omaha Beach Ensign of the USS Empire Javelin

    SS (USS) Empire Javelin Ensign from the Normandy Invasion.
    The Empire Javelin was an (LSI) Landing Ship Infantry-Large that landed the 1st Battalion (Companies A, B, C, D) 116th Infantry, 29th Division on Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944, the first to land.

    The flag is a US Army Quartermaster issue, wool bunting, 57" X 101" finished with a canvas duck heading and two galvanized metal ring staples fastened with three rivets. The flag is marked, "USS Empire Javelin (LSI) Landing Ship Infantry 6 June Omaha - 1st to Land".
    The Empire Javelin, a C1-S-AY1 sub-type troop ship, although laid down as the SS Cape Lobos by the Consolidated Steel Corporation, Long Beach, California, by the time of her launch in January of 1944 she had been re-designated an "Empire Ship;" or one of those ships that were part of a strategic plan to stem the considerable losses Britain was suffering to her fleets. Empire Ships were constructed, commandeered, contracted for, or captured, but, regardless of the source, all of the over 1,300 Empire Ships used the word "EMPIRE" in their names.

    Although the SS Empire Javelin was crewed by British merchant and reserve seaman and could have properly worn a Red Ensign, to avoid confusion on D-Day as a part of the Western Naval Task Force Assault Force "O", she wore the "Stars & Stripes." The Empire Javelin was also the command ship for the 551st Landing Craft Assault (LCA) Flotilla tasked with delivering the first wave to Omaha Beach. Company A landed at 6:36 A.M., the "First to Land".

    Among the troops delivered to Omaha Beach by the Empire Javelin were the "Bedford Boys," the name given to the thirty-four Virginia National Guard soldiers of Company A, commanded by Capt. Taylor Fellers, from the town of Bedford, VA, nineteen of whom would die on D-Day.

    After D-Day, the Empire Javelin continued delivering troops to France until she was torpedoed on 28 December 1944 in the English Channel.

    Flags used on D-Day are highly sought-after by serious collectors, and this flag would be appropriate for an advanced D-Day collector.

    The Empire Javelin flag is used, worn, soiled and frayed from use, and exhibits a loss on the upper fly corner, likely from souveniring.

    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: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,376

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