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    Description

    34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division: "The Trail" Camp Flag.
    This 3'x 5' Dettra "Bulldog" brand cotton flag has sewn stripes and 48 embroidered stars, finished with a canvas header and white metal wartime grommets. It is marked on the obverse header in black ink, "IOWA 34th Division, Algies [Algiers] '42 Sicily - Jan 44 Monte Casino Anzio Mar 44 M.G. Wolcott".

    The 34th U.S. Infantry was the first American division deployed to Europe in World War II. It fought with great distinction in North Africa and Italy. The 34th landed in the United Kingdom for training on 26 January 1942, only 5 weeks after Pearl Harbor. While in the UK, the 34th provided the cadre and initial troops for the 1st U.S. Ranger Battalion, later known as Darby's Rangers. After deployment to North Africa, the 34th fought in Algeria and Tunisia from November 1942 to June 1943. In July and August of 1943, the 34th was in Sicily preparing for the landings at Salerno.

    The 34th landed at Salerno in September of 1943 as a part of general Mark Clark's 5th Army, where they began a long, brutal winter slough up the Italian peninsula. They fought at Monte Pantano, San Vittore, Monte Chiaia, Monte Trocchio and the Rapido River, culminating at the assault on the German-fortified abbey at Monte Casino where they lived their motto, "Attack, attack, attack!". After enduring freezing conditions, mule train resupply and hand-to-hand combat in the rugged mountain terrain in February 1944, the 34th earned a rest.

    Returning to combat in March to the narrow Allied beachhead at Anzio, the 34th participated in the May breakout and the march to Rome where they were among the first to enter the "Eternal City." After Rome, the 34th drove up the Italian peninsula liberating Belvedere, San Vincenzo, Cecina, Rosignano, Leghorn and Pisa. Next they fought at the Arno river, the Apennines and finally in the Po River campaign. The 34th ended the war in May 1945 near Milan where they accepted the surrender of over 40,000 Germans.

    The 100th Infantry Battalion, composed of "Nisei" (US citizens of Japanese descent) were attached to the 34th for much of the Italian Campaign, becoming the most highly decorated battalion in the US Army.

    The name "M.G. Wolcott" in the heading may refer to Major General Charles Wolcott Ryder who commended the division from May 1942 to July 1944. The "IOWA" on the header doubtless refers to the Iowa National Guard whose troop made up 66% of the division's infantry soldiers.

    Condition: The flag is used, worn, and soiled from use, but otherwise intact.

    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: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 615

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