Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    USS Shangri-La (CV-38).
    The very name "Shangri-La" is mystical, harmonious and evocative of the exoticism of the Orient. Shangri-La was the name of the mythical hidden utopia in the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon. It gained popular home-front fame in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt used it to answer a reporter's query about from where the Doolittle Raid of April had been launched. The answer "Shangri-La" concealed the true identity of the USS Hornet (CV-8). The selection of Shangri-La was a break from the naval tradition of naming aircraft carriers for previous ships or battles.

    The ensign of the Shangri-La is a US Navy size #10 34.8" X 66.1" bunting, sewn stars & stripes flag finished with a canvas header with four white metal wartime grommets. It is marked in black, "USS SHANGRI-LA Nagato HARUNA Iwo Jima U.S. ENS 10".

    Shangri-La, a late-war Essex-class carrier, was commissioned in September of 1944 and arrived in Pearl Harbor in February of 1945 and began combat operations in the Pacific in late April in raids against Japanese radar installations. In May she became the flag ship of Vice Admiral John S. McCain Sr. and continued her attacks against the Japanese mainland. Facing terrific resistance, she suffered her first casualties.

    In June she was the site of a unique ceremony for a combat zone, the administration of the oath of office to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, John L. Sullivan, who had been appointed by the new President Harry S. Truman. July saw the warplanes of the Shangri-La renew her attacks, damaging the battleship Nagato, the light cruiser Oyodo and the battleship Haruna, which flooded and sank at her mooring. After the surrender of Japan, her planes flew missions of mercy to air-drop supplies to Allied prisoners of war in Japan.

    WWII Awards of the Shangri-La: American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 campaign stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp).

    Condition: The flag is Good-Excellent - used, worn and soiled with a few minor holes, 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, along with a 1952 letter of authentication and transmittal for both the ensign and the commissioning flag, as well as a variety of WWII paper ephemera related to the vessel.

    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: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 436

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 2 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search