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    TWO FLAG LOT - WWII Hospital Ship - USS Samaritan (AH-10) and Geneva Convention Flag. USS Samaritan (AH-10) was a hospital ship that served with the US Navy in World War II. Launched in1920 and named for the WWI AEF HQ in France, she started her career as the US Army Transport Chaumont. She was transferred to the Navy in 1921 and commissioned the USS Chaumont (AP-5) a transport. She was selected for conversion to a hospital ship in 1943 and recommissioned the Samaritan, a Biblical reference, in 1944.

    The ensign of the Samaritan is a 54" X 108", bunting, 48-star, double applique, sewn stripe flag finished with a canvas heading and two riveted ring staples at each end of the hoist. It is inscribed, "USS SAMARITAN" on the upper obverse hoist.

    The Red Cross flag is a 48" X 72", bunting, appliqued, flag finished with a canvas heading and two riveted ring staples. It is marked on the hoist, "QUARTERMASTER DEPT. U.S. MARINE CORPS 1943-1944" and on the lower obverse hoist, "USS SAMARITAN AH 10." Pinned to the Red Cross Flag are various insignias: a WWII Pharmacist's Mate 2nd class rating badge, an Army Expert Marksman and Sharpshooter qualification badges, 2 sets of Army enlisted collar discs, a US Army Meritorious Unit Commendation with three oak leaf clusters, and two Army Signal Center & School enamel unit crests. All presumably insignia from patients or crew.

    The Geneva Convention Flag, aka the IRC or "Red Cross Flag," is the distinguishing mark of a hospital ship and worn in lieu of a commission pennant per both the July 27, 1929, Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field and the US Navy regulations.

    Samaritan began her non-combatant service ferrying patients from Hawaii to California before reporting to Kwajalein Atoll to tend wounded Marines and soldiers. She then sailed to Saipan for duty as a receiving hospital and evacuation ship.

    In February 1945, Samaritan arrived off Iwo Jima to treat and transport casualties to the shore-based facilities at Guam. She performed the same duty off Okinawa and returned a load of seriously injured to the States. After the cessation of hostilities, she provided hospital services to occupation forces in Japan. She was decommissioned in 1946.

    Hospital ship flags are quite rare and a set including an ensign and an IRC flag from one of the 12 USN hospital ships do not come up for auction. These are fine specimens for a collection of WWII hospital, medical, or War in the Pacific artifacts.

    For her WWII service the USS Samaritan (including her service as USAT/USS Chaumont (AP-5)) was awarded: China Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp.

    Condition: Both of the flags in this lot are in good condition. They are used and worn. The canton of the ensign is mottled, but the flags are 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: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 372

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