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    USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) "The Longest Ship in the World".
    USS Pittsburgh (CA-72), commissioned in October of 1944, was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser of the US Navy and the third ship to bear the name of "The Steel City." She saw service in the Pacific during WWII and is best known for her role in saving the USS Franklin and her survival after a devastating typhoon.

    The ensign of the Pittsburgh is a Dettra, Bulldog brand, cotton bunting flag, 48" X 66" with 48 double appliqué stars and sewn stripes finished with a canvas heading with two grommets. The flag is marked on the upper obverse hoist: "CA 72 USS Pittsburgh" with a maker's mark and the size designation "4 X 6".

    The Pittsburgh joined the Pacific fleet in February of 1945 in time for the operations against Iwo Jima. She sortied the Lexington's group in direct support of the Marine landings. She also helped in operations against the Japanese home islands and was there when the USS Franklin was struck by kamikazes, setting her ablaze, adrift and without power. The Pittsburgh rescued thirty-four crewmen from the stricken carrier and then maneuvered to get a tow line aboard and pull her to safety as damage control and repair parties worked to restore power. The skipper of the Pittsburgh, Capt. E. Gingrich, remained on the bridge for over 48 hours while supporting the Franklin and was awarded the Silver Star "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity."

    After Okinawa, the Pittsburgh was caught in a typhoon whose 70 knot and 100-foot waves tore the bow off the cruiser. Now missing over 100' of her length, Gingrich kept the Pittsburgh afloat and with 15% of his ship missing limped the 900 miles to Guam. After she was fitted with a false bow, Pittsburgh left for Puget Sound for repairs. Curiously, the bow was found afloat, nicknamed "McKeesport" (a suburb of Pittsburgh), and towed to Guam as well. Because of the tremendous distance separating bow from the rest of the ship, the press dubbed the Pittsburgh "The Longest Ship in the World." This would be a great flag for a WWII, cruiser, or War in the Pacific collector.

    The USS Pittsburgh was awarded: The Combat Action Ribbon; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two campaign stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy WWII Occupation Medal with EUROPE Clasp.

    The ensign of the Pittsburgh is in Good to fair condition - used, worn, soiled and stained, but otherwise intact.

    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: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 352

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