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    Description

    U.S. 48-star Camp Flag of the Third Marine Division,1942-1945.
    The 3rd Marine Division was activated at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California in September 1942 with a primary mission of executing amphibious assault operations. They served exclusively in the Pacific Theatre.

    This flag is a U.S. 48-star, 52" X 60" wool, double appliqué, sewn stripes, finished with a header and grommets. The upper obverse hoist is marked "USMC 3 DIV IWO-J N'102". It is a Camp Flag. These were acquired privately and carried to war by officers and enlisted men alike. Popular in all theaters of the war, they were often displayed as an unofficial and non-ceremonial flag, used by a unit, regiment, brigade, division or higher-echelon organization near the position of their headquarters, within a camp or other location.

    After activation, the 3rd was moved to Guadalcanal for special training for Operation Cartwheel, the liberation of Bougainville and the Northern Solomon Islands. Landing at Empress Bay on Bougainville, the Division fought for two months against stiff enemy resistance. They then returned to Guadalcanal for rest and refit for their next operation, the liberation of Guam. The 3rd landed on Guam in July of 1944 as a component of the Southern Landing Force. The island was secured after three weeks of fierce combat and, by August, the 3rd was conducting mopping-up operations. They remained on Guam training until detailed for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

    The 3rd was initially designated the Expeditionary Reserve. The division remained afloat until they were committed in echelon as needed. They faced an organized, determined, well-entrenched enemy. Their progress was slow as they reduced fortified pillboxes, caves and covered artillery emplacements. Eventually, elements of the 3rd Division replaced the 5th Marine Division for the final attacks on Kitano Point until the island was declared secure. After Iwo Jima, the 3rd returned to Guam to prepare for Operation Olympic, the planned amphibious landings on Kyushu, but Japan's capitulation rendered the planning moot and the 3rd remained on Guam until deactivation in December of 1945. This is rare opportunity to acquire a flag associated with the 3rd Division USMC, the War in the Pacific, Iwo Jima and Marine Corps in general.

    During WWII, the 3rd Marine Division was awarded: the Navy Presidential Unit Citation; the Navy Unit Commendation; the Asiatic-Pacific Medal with four campaign stars and the WWII victory Medal.

    The flag is in Fair Condition - used, worn, frayed with losses along the fly edge, and small holes throughout.

    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: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 524

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