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    D-Day "First to Land" Omaha Beach

    SS (USS) Empire Javelin Ensign from the Normandy Invasion. The Empire Javelin was an (LSI) Landing Ship Infantry-Large that landed the 1st Battalion (Companies A, B, C, D) 116th Infantry, 29th Division on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, the first to land.

    The flag of the Empire Javelin is an approximate 45" X 60" cotton bunting, Defiance brand, 48-star, double applique flag with sewn stripes and finished with a herder and grommets. The flag has a maker's mark on the upper obverse hoist and is marked on the reverse, "USS Javelin Rungee Museum 351." [NB: The ship was never officially the USS Javelin.]

    The Empire Javelin, was C1-S-AY1 sub-type troop ship. although laid down as the SS Cape Lobos by the Consolidated Steel Corporation, Long Beach, CA. By the time of her launch in January of 1944, she had been re-designated an "Empire Ship;" or one of those ships that were part of a strategic plan to stem the considerable losses Britain was suffering to her fleets. Empire Ships were constructed, commandeered, contracted for or captured but, regardless of the source, all of the over 1,300 Empire Ships used the word "EMPIRE" in their names.

    The SS Empire Javelin was crewed by British merchant and reserve seaman who could have properly worn a Red Ensign. However, to avoid confusion on D-Day, as a part of the Western Naval Task Force, Assault Force "O" she wore the "Stars and Stripes" as the USS Empire Javelin. She was also the command ship for 551st Landing Craft Assault (LCA) Flotilla tasked with delivering the first wave to Omaha Beach. Company A landed at 6:36 A.M., the "First to Land."

    Among the troops in the 1st Battalion that the Empire Javelin delivered to Omaha Beach were Company A, the "Bedford Boys," the name given to the thirty-four Virginia National Guard soldiers from the town of Bedford, VA, nineteen of whom would die on D-Day; Company B from Lynchburg, Company C of Harrisonburg, and Co. D (Btn. HQ) from Roanoke.

    After D-Day, the Empire Javelin continued delivering troops to France until she was torpedoed on December 28, 1944 in the English Channel.

    Flags used on D-Day are highly sought by serious collectors, and this flag would be appropriate for an advanced D-Day collector.

    Condition: The flag is in Fair condition. It is used, worn, soiled, and torn with frayed fly corners and several holes along the vertical centerline of the flag. The upper hoist grommet is missing.

    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
    12 Days 16h 17m 4s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: 59
    Page Views: 512

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    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.)

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

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