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    Normandy Escort Ship

    USS Harding (DD-625) & (DMS-28) Ensign.
    USS Harding (DD-625), commissioned in May of 1943, was a Gleaves-class destroyer and the second ship to be named for Captain Seth Harding, an officer in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War.

    The ensign of the Harding is a 68" X 102" Dettra Bulldog brand cotton bunting flag with double appliqué stars and sewn stripes, finished with heading and grommets. The obverse hoist bears a maker's mark, the flag is marked on the reverse upper hoist "USS Harding (DD-625) OMAHA (6 Wounded)"... the latter a reference to the six wounded Rangers she evacuated on D-Day.

    In August of 1943, the Harding was assigned to Atlantic convoy duty and, for the next eight months, provided antisubmarine patrol for merchant convoys, making three round trips to Casablanca. In May of 1944, she was assigned to Operation Neptune, the naval arm of Operation Overlord, the Normandy Invasion. She was attached to the western Task Force, Force "O" escort group 124.7. She arrived off Omaha Beach early on 6 June 1944 supporting the landings by delivering close-shore bombardment to destroy pillboxes and machine gun emplacements. During the landings, Harding dispatched a ship's boat to Pointe-du-Hoc to take supplies to the Rangers and bring out prisoners and wounded. She remained at Normandy until August when she was transferred to the Mediterranean for Operation Dragoon, the Invasion of Southern France. While there, she engaged a flotilla of four German E-Boats, sinking three. She convoyed to Boston in the Fall for a refit (a conversion into a destroyer/minesweeper). She was reclassified as the (DMS-28). Harding was then sent to the Pacific, arriving in time for the invasion of Okinawa, the last and largest of the giant Pacific amphibious assaults. She provided minesweeping, screening and close-fire support until she was struck by a kamikaze bomber which severely damaged her, ending her active wartime career. This flag is appropriate for a WWII Naval, Normandy, or War in the Pacific collector.

    For her WWII service, the USS Harding was awarded: American Campaign Medal; Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal with two campaign stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one campaign star and the World War II Victory Medal.

    The Harding's ensign is in Good to Fair Condition - used, worn, and soiled. The upper and lower fly corners are frayed and the two bottom stripes are starting to split.

    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: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 843

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