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    D-Day Omaha Beach Landed

    Company B, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, 29th Division Flag.
    Company B of the 116th Infantry landed on Omaha Beach the morning of 6 June 1944, Capt. Ettore V. Zappacosta commanding. They landed at approximately 07:00 A.M. under heavy fire. They disembarked from the SS (USS) Empire Javelin (see a related Empire Javelin item elsewhere in this auction) in the predawn darkness of D-Day with the other companies of the 1st Battalion. Assigned to support Company A on Dog Green Beach, B Company was to land in the second wave. Its craft failed to pick up landmarks, scattered badly, and then beached on a front of nearly a mile wide. Those soldiers that made it to Dog Green suffered the same destructive fire that had wrecked A Company and the assault became an effort for survival at the water's edge. Eventually, elements of Company B moved inland and did reach Vierville, their objective, but by the end of the day only 28 men, out of over 200, remained unscathed.

    After D-Day, the regiment was placed in reserve to reorganize and recover its D-Day losses. They participated in the capture of St. Lo, the Normandy breakout, the surrender of Brest and the assault on Fort Montbarey before afforded some needed rest and relief. They were sent against the Siegfried Line at the end of September. In the fall and winter of 1944, they probed the Siegfried Line and prepared to cross the Roer River.

    After the Germans were defeated in the Battle of the Bulge, the B Company went on the offensive. In February 1945 they crossed the Roer, in March they took Otzenrath, captured Waltrop when German resistance began to crumble. B Company was mopping up in the Ruhr pocket by late April and on the 24th they reached the Elbe River. They linked up with Red Army troops on 2 May 1945 just before Germany surrendered. During WWII, the 116th suffered 1,298 killed, 4,769 wounded, and 594 missing for a casualty total of 7,113. They returned to the States in January of 1946.

    This 3'x 5' Collegeville Flag Co. "Storm King" brand cotton flag has sewn stripes and forty-eight double appliqué stars, finished with a canvas header and brass grommets. The flag is marked on the obverse header, " 5 CMH Co. B 29th" and the maker's mark "3 X 5 STORM KING" and on the reverse hoist "Beach D-Day 29th DIV Elbe Link with Ruskie."

    This is a Personal Flag, not standard-issue. These were acquired privately and carried to war by officers and enlisted alike. Popular in all theaters of the war, they were often displayed as Camp Flags, an unofficial and non-ceremonial flag, and used by a unit, regiment, or higher echelon organization near the position of their headquarters, within a camp or other location. This flag is suitable for an advanced WWII, Normandy and D-Day collector.

    The "5 CMH" on the obverse header is thought to be a reference to the five [Congressional] Medals of Honor that soldiers of the 29th Division were awarded. In addition, the soldiers of the division earned 44 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, 854 Silver Star Medals, 17 Legion of Merit Medals, 24 Soldier's Medals, 6,308 Bronze Star Medals, and 176 Air Medals during the conflict. The division itself was awarded four distinguished unit citations and four campaign streamers for service in WWII.

    This Camp Flag is in Good Condition - it is used, worn and slightly soiled without any losses or holes.

    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: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 797

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