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    Normandy Bombardment & Escort Ship - Omaha Beach - Pointe du Hoc - USS Ellyson (DD-454/DMS-19. The USS Ellyson (DD-454/DMS-19) was a Gleaves-class destroyer commissioned in November of 1941. She was nicknamed the "Elly Mae" and is the only US warship ever named for the US naval officer Commander Theodore Gordon Ellyson, a 1905 graduate of the Naval Academy. He was an early submariner who commanded two boats before WWI. In 1911, Ellyson turned to aviation and in 1914 became "US Navy Air Pilot #1," the first U.S. Naval Aviator. Alternating between sea duty and experimental aviation, he was killed in 1928; crashing while perfecting night flying over water.

    The USN size #10 ensign of the Ellyson is a 32" X 68", bunting 48-star, Schiffli embroidered stars, sewn stripes flag finished with a canvas header with two war-time grey metal grommets. It is inscribed on the obverse hoist, "[illegible] JAP KAMI" and "TORCH - SICILY - NORMANDY- RANGERS - OKINAWA" and "[illegible] USS ELLYSON = 454."

    Ellyson began her service patrolling the Atlantic while protecting Allied shipping between Halifax and the Panama Canal before she was assigned to screen the carrier USS Ranger off North Africa. In 1943, Ellyson sortied with the Royal Navy out of Sacpa Flow protecting Murmansk convoys, supporting the actions against the German pocket battleship Tirpitz, and participating in a feint invasion of Norway as a strategic diversion for Operation Husky, the liberation of Sicily. She returned to the states to screen the new battleship USS Iowa.

    In 1944, she returned to duty with the Ranger. In April, she sank the U-616 off Oran before reporting for duty with Operation Neptune, the maritime component of Operation Overlord. On June 6th, the Ellyson was assigned to Task Force C Bombardment Group (124.9) to assist the USS Texas in supporting the American Ranger assault on Pointe du Hoc at Omaha Beach. She provided direct fire support, and after establishing communications and sending boat to assist the Rangers, Ellyson began to fire with great effect knocking out several German gun emplacements and an enemy tank column. She is also credited with shooting down a ME-109. She stayed off France for 14 days, participating in the Battle for Cherbourg until ordered to Boston for refit and conversion into a destroyer-minesweeper.

    Redesignated (MS-19), the Ellyson sailed for the Pacific for the invasion of Okinawa where she cleared mines for the beach invasion, participated in shore bombardment, and downed the first of three Japanese aircraft. After the landings, she went to picket duty where she survived a kamikaze attack. After Okinawa was secured, the Ellyson started minesweeping duty in the North China Sea. When the war ended, she cleared Tokyo Bay prior to the surrender. After the war, the "Elly Mae" reverted to her destroyer status and continued duty until 1954 when, perhaps ironically, she was sold to the Japanese Self Defense force and renamed the Asakaze or "Morning Wind."

    This as a WWII ensign for a collector of D-Day, Pont du Hoc, destroyer, European or Pacific Campaign, and WWII artifacts.

    For her WWII service the Ellyson was awarded: American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four campaign stars, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Medal.

    Condition: The ensign of the "Elly Mae" in in good condition. It is used, worn and soiled, 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.

    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.

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