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    Description

    US 48-Star Hickam Field "Remember Pearl Harbor" Flag. Hickam Field was the principal American air base in the Pacific. Opening in 1935, it quickly replaced Wheeler Field as the Army Air Corps' HQ in Hawaii. Named to honor the aviation pioneer Lt. Col. Horace Meek Hickam (1885 - 1934), a renaissance man, West Point Graduate (1908), Cavalryman (11th Cavalry 1908-'13), early-bird of aviation (flying lessons in 1911), served in the Philippines (1914-'15), veteran of the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa (1916-'17), Professor of Military Science at the University of Maine until WWI. During WWI, he was transferred to the Air Service. He was killed in the line of duty, perfecting night landing techniques, in 1934.

    The Hickam Field flag is a 48-star, 46" X 68", double applique, sewn stripe, cotton bunting flag finished with heading and grommets. There is a very faint makers mark for a "Bulldog" brand flag, from the Dettra Flag Co. The flag is marked on the obverse hoist, "REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR," "139 KILLED 307 WOUNDED," and "HICKHAM AIRFIELD - PEARL HARBOR 7 DEC '41."

    On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. Hickam Field was targeted to disable the facility and eliminate air opposition in order to prevent U.S. aircraft from following the attackers back to their aircraft carriers. In the first wave the Japanese Zero fighters and Val dive-bombers strafed and bombed the fight line and hangars, concentrating on the bombers and fighters parked wingtip to wingtip.

    In the second wave the hangars, the depot, the base fire station, the chapel, the guardhouse, and the big barracks had all been destroyed or damaged. Hickam officially suffered casualties totaling 139 killed and 303 wounded and approximately 50% of the base's aircraft and severe property damage. Spared were the Base HQ, vital repair shops, and the aviation gasoline storage tanks. Hickam Field emerged from the attack stronger than before and played an important role in World War II. Today, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) is the headquarters of the Pacific Air Force.

    It is not known where on the base this flag was. The flag from the main flagpole survived and, though torn and damaged, became the inspiration for a famous 1942 home front/bond drive poster. The flag may be viewed at the JBPHH museum. The flag being offered likely came from a secondary location on Hickam.

    Hickam Field artifacts are highly sought after and this is a great find.

    Condition: The flag is in fair condition. It is used, worn and soiled with a torn fly and losses to the upper fly corner.

    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.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,343

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