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    Normandy Invasion Flag Flown Aboard Mine Sweeper "YMS-348".
    The motto of the the crew of a Minesweeper was "Where The Fleet Goes We've Been". That was true for the 136' long wooden Minesweeper "YMS 348". She was one of 22 Minesweepers that cleared mines off Utah Beach days and weeks before the landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The vessels were made of wood, which makes sense, because many of the mines were magnetic, and would be attracted to the metal hulls. The first casualties of the D Day invasion were aboard a Minesweeper, the USS Osprey, which was sunk on June 5, 1944, losing six men. During this dangerous mission Charles Franklin Reed, Jr., a Quartermaster, was serving on the Minesweeper YMS 348, sweeping mines in preparation for the invasion against the Nazi stronghold. Prior to serving during "Operation Overlord", Reed was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 assigned to the "USS Honolulu". She operated there through 1941, and was moored at the Naval Station when the Japanese launched the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Honolulu suffered only minor hull damage from a near miss. Reed continued his Naval career, eventually serving on the YMS 348 in 1944. The flag we present today was on that vessel. The wool flag measures 27.5" at the hoist, and 44" on the fly. On the hoist it reads in laundry pen "Given To Charles Reed From Capt. Flag Flown On "YMS 348 On 6/6/44 (D-Day)". On the other side it reads "NAT ENS 11", a Naval Ensign Flag, and having four grommets. The flag has tattered ends from the high coastal winds and some light age. Overall in good condition. Included with the flag is a 16" x 20" plaque with a carved eagle, with Reed's years of service, and a photograph of Reed, in which he looks to be accepting an award. Three of his signal patches, Navy training hat band, special police arm band, as well as his handwritten obituary and memorial tribute are included. A fantastic archive from a sailor who participated in a seminal event from World War Two.

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