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    The World's First Nuclear Submarine - USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the first to transit the North Pole submerged. Few names evoke the romance of the sea nor recall the proud history of her predecessors like "Nautilus," a name this submarine shares with previous US warships and the fictional, fantastic, and fabled submarine Nautilus from Jules Verne's 1870 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

    Commissioned as the fourth USS Nautilus in 1954, she joined a 1799 12-gun schooner, an 1838 coastal survey schooner, and a WWII Narwhal-class submarine. The world's first nuclear submarine was constructed primarily to incorporate new design and construction techniques learned since WWII, to test the feasibility of nuclear propulsion, to implement new anti-submarine warfare strategies, and to test the limits of submarines.

    The ensign of the Nautilus is a 39" X 75", 48-star, nylon bunting, double applique, sewn stripe flag, finished with a roped header, with a top ring and a lead line and snap. The lower obverse hoist is marked, "US Nautilus" and at the upper end, "SIZE #9." Nylon was introduced as a fabric for flags late in WWII and became the standard in the 1950s.

    As the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine, Nautilus was able to set and break many records during her years of service. On her shakedown cruise, she exceeded expectations for distance and time submerged. Her design and endurance rendered most of the WWII anti-submarine tactics obsolete. She continued on endurance cruises, fleet exercises, and NATO operations. She visited allied ports to demonstrate her technologies.

    On August 3, 1958 she made maritime history as the first vessel ever to report, "Nautilus, 90°N, 19:15U, August 3,1958, zero to North Pole." She had successfully, silently, and secretly sailed under the polar ice cap. The transit was an important boost to American morale as the Soviets had recently launched Sputnik, but had no nuclear submarines.

    After the polar success, Nautilus continues with fleet operations and assisting in the 1962 blockade of Cuba. She would spend the rest of her career with the Atlantic Fleet. Decommissioned in 1980, she is now a museum ship at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut.

    While other commemorative small ensigns from the Nautilus are documented, this is the only known, full sized, US Ensign from the Nautilus. This is an opportunity for a submarine, Nautilus, polar, Cold War, and US naval history collector.

    The USS Nautilus (SSN-571) earned the Presidential Unit Citation with the "N" clasp to commemorate "Operation Sunshine," the first submerged voyage under the North Pole and the National Defense Service Medal.

    Condition: The ensign of the Nautilus in in good condition. It is used, worn, soiled and paint stained, 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
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 469

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