Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.


    Normandy Bombardment Ship - Sword Beach - HMS Frobisher (D81). HMS Frobisher, pennant number D81, was a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser commissioned in 1924. She was named in honor of the English seaman, privateer and explorer Martin Frobisher.

    The Red Ensign attributed to the Frobisher is a 60" X 120", wool, sewn, flag finished with a roped header with a loop at the upper hoist and a lead line at the bottom. The obverse hoist is inscribed, "Normandy" and "HMS FROBISHER." The reverse hoist is inscribing with three indistinct names and, "10/2 B." Affixed to the obverse are two post-war Canadian, summer uniform ratings badges, one for a Communicator Crypto and one Assistant Pharmacist.

    Frobisher entered service with the Mediterranean Fleet as flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron; before she was detached to the China Station, before a refit, and service with the Atlantic fleet. In 1930, she was placed in reserve and became a Sea Cadet training ship, a status she had until 1939. After the outbreak of WWII, she underwent a major refit and upgrade.

    In 1942, she was assigned to the 4th Cruiser Squadron of the Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean. She returned to the UK in 1944 and began training from Operation Neptune, the maritime component of Operation Overlord, the Normandy Invasion, where she was assigned to Gunfire Bombardment Support Force D allocated to Sword Beach. During the D-Day bombardment, her accurate and rapid fire is credited with the destruction of the German "Grand Bunker" at Ouisteham, a huge block house used for the command and control of the defenses of the Orne estuary. She was then assigned to tender duties as a depot ship for motor torpedo boats. In August, she was severely damaged by an E-boat torpedo attack. Her combat career was over and she reverted to a Sea Cadet training ship. She was decommissioned in 1949.

    The flag is a puzzlement. Royal Navy vessels wore the White Ensign. The Red Ensign was reserved for the merchant navy. It may date from her service as a training ship, however, Sea Cadet ships rated a blue ensign, therefore, this flag's role and exact status remain unknown.

    This is a good example of a WWII era red ensign with an association to a D-Day bombardment vessel.

    Condition: The ensign attributed to the Frobisher is in fair to good condition. It is used, worn, and soiled with modest wear on the fly corners and numerous small 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.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    6th Saturday 10:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    6th Saturday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    5 Days 12h 50m 12s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: 15
    Page Views: 151

    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.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 43001-43126) - 11:00 AM Central Time, Saturday, June 6, 2020.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions - Dallas
    3500 Maple Ave
    17th Floor
    Dallas, TX 75219

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    ** Lots bearing estimates and without Consignor Reserve shall open at Heritage Auctions' discretion (usually 25% to 60% of the low estimate).

    Opening Bid:
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $625.00 Minimum Next Bid: $500 ($625.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item