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    "The Big J"

    USS New Jersey (BB-62).
    USS New Jersey (BB-62) is an Iowa-class battleship and was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after the US state of New Jersey. She was the second Iowa-class battleship (Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin), the "fast battleships" of WWII, that could keep up with the speed of Essex-class aircraft carriers and still have the armament and armor of a battleship, for shelling targets or screening aircraft carriers.

    The New Jersey's ensign is an approximately 120" X 180" Defiance brand cotton bunting flag with 48 double appliqué stars and sewn stripes and is finished with a canvas header and two wartime white metal grommets, each in turn adapted with a wooden toggle. The flag has a maker's mark on the upper obverse hoist, and marked on the upper reverse hoist: "Big J USS New Jersey."

    The New Jersey was launched on the one-year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and commissioned in May of 1943. After a training and a shakedown cruise, she reported for duty in the Pacific in January of 1944. She began her career as the flagship of the 5th fleet under Admiral Spruance. She operated against Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands by screening aircraft carriers and bombarding Eniwetok. Her next major campaign was against New Guinea, the Marianas Islands and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. New Jersey was made flagship of Admiral's Halsey's Third fleet and cruised the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa and Formosa in preparation for the liberation of the Philippines. After the landings at Leyte, she made her last cruise as Admiral Halsey's flagship guarding carriers in attacks on Formosa, Okinawa, Luzon, Indo-China, Hong Kong, Swatow, Amoy and Okinawa. She screened the attacks on Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese home islands until she sailed for the states for a refit, rejoining the fleet just before the Japanese surrender. She then served as the flagship for the US Navy in Japanese waters until relieved, when she became a part of Operation Magic Carpet and returned over 1,000 servicemen to the U.S. After WWII she served in Korea and Vietnam and is currently a museum ship. This ensign would be fitting in a WWII, battleship, or a War in the Pacific collection.

    WWII Awards of the USS New Jersey (BB-62): China Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with nine campaign stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal: Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and Philippine Liberation Medal with two campaign stars. When combined with her post-war awards, the New Jersey holds the distinction of being the most decorated battleship in US history.

    Condition: The ensign of the New Jersey is Good to Fair - used, worn, and soiled with fraying in the fly corners. The upper corner is worn away and the lower is both frayed and holed.

    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: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 392

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