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    Description

    USS LCI(L)-5 and USAAF Station AAF-484 (RAF Folkingham) Parade Color. Normandy Landing Craft, USS LCI(L)-5; USS LCI(L)-5 was commissioned in late 1942. She was a Landing Craft Infantry-Large, one of over 900 purpose-built "Elsie Items," that could land up to 200 fully equipped troops. Traveling from rear bases directly to a beachhead, the LCI was the largest dedicated beach-able infantry landing craft, smaller than the Landing Ship Infantry (LSI), but larger than a Higgins boat.

    The ensign worn by the LCI(L)-5 was a 48-star, wool, double applique, sewn stripe flag finished with heading and two brass grommets. The flag is marked on the upper obverse hoist, "LCI-5" and at the lower obverse hoist, "[illegible] Navy."

    The LCI(L)-5 convoyed across the Atlantic for Operation Torch in 1943. She landed troops in Tunisia, then in Sicily, and again in Italy at Salerno before transiting to England to train for Operation Neptune, the maritime component of Operation Overlord, the landings in Normandy. She was transferred to the Royal Navy in October of 1944.

    Uncertainty surrounds the troops conveyed aboard the LCI(L)-5 on D-Day as wartime censors obscured the insignia in photographs of the soldiers aboard her. By repute, she carried elements of the 504th Parachute Infantry as reinforcements for the 82nd airborne. However, the only elements of the 504th known to be involved in D-day were several dozen paratroopers who volunteered for duty as volunteer Pathfinders for the 82nd Airborne; the rest of the regiment remained in Britain. Another possible scenario is that she landed advanced elements from the USAAF IX Troop Carrier Command based at AAF-484 (RAF Folkingham) and, tasked with establishing weather stations or reconnoitering locations for Advanced Landing Grounds, built beach-head landing strips that were operational within 10 days of the D-Day landings. Regardless of the troops she carried there, the LCI(L)-5 made numerous trips to Normandy, evacuating walking wounded for each return.

    This ensign, together with the accompanying color, represents an opportunity for a D-Day, European theater, naval war, LCI, or USAAF collector to add to their collection.

    Awards: The USS LCI(L)-5 was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal with five campaign stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

    Condition: The ensign of the LCI(L)-5 is in good to fair condition. It is used, worn and soiled with numerous small holes and a tear across the width of the bottom red stripe in the lower hoist corner.

    US 48-star National Parade Color, USAAF Station AAF-484 (RAF Folkingham); The Royal Air Force Station Flokingham, located about 100 miles north of London, was built in 1939 and began service in 1940. Originally constructed as a decoy macadam airfield, until its conversion to a conventional triangular layout of converging, concrete, runways, with facilities to accommodate over 2,000 personnel. In January of 1944 it was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force and became USAAF Station AAF-484, the new home of the 313th Troop Carrier Group, who was transferred from Italy as a part of the preparations for Operation Overlord, the allied liberation of Europe.

    The national parade color is a 52" X 63" silk, 48-star, embroidered star, sewn stripe flag, fringed on three sides with 2.5" golden-yellow rayon fringe. It is finished with a pole hem sleeve. This a typical size and type for WWII National Parade Color.

    The 313th TCG was comprised of four Troop carrier Squadrons. Also stationed there were the attendant Weather, Communications, and Service Groups who supported the flying and looked after the base under the aegis of the 52nd Troop Carrier Wing of the Ninth Air Force's Troop Carrier Command. On D-Day, the 313th dropped paratroopers near Picauville, Normandy and dropped reinforcements the following day. It is interesting to note that the 1st Provisional Pathfinders of the 504th Infantry were dropped by the 52nd Troop Carrier Wing, but not specifically by which group.

    It is not known for certain which command may have sent advance forces to Normandy aboard the USS LCI(L)-5, however, by repute, this flag was used at their Normandy HQ.

    This color, together with the accompanying ensign, represent an opportunity for a D-Day USAAF collector.

    Awards: The 313th Troop Carrier Group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Commendation - two awards, Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal with two campaign stars and the World War II Victory Medal.

    Condition: The color is in fair condition. It is used, worn and soiled with losses on the fly edge of all the white stripes.

    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

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 294

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