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    USS South Dakota (BB-57) - "Battleship X" Also Known as "Old Nameless".
    USS South Dakota (BB-57) was the lead vessel of the four South Dakota-class "fast" battleships built to keep pace with the aircraft carriers. Commissioned in 1942, she served in both the Atlantic and Pacific during WWII.

    The 48-star ensign of the South Dakota is an approximately 94" X 125" Bulldog-brand cotton flag, with sewn stars & stripes and is finished with a roped canvas header and rope loops. The flag has a maker's mark on the upper obverse hoist and is inscribed, "S.D. (BB-57)" on the reverse upper hoist and "Peloquin to Rungee Museum."

    On her first Pacific deployment, the USS South Dakota participated in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during the Guadalcanal Campaign where the crew was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation. One of these crewmen was the 12-year-old Seaman First Class Calvin Graham, the youngest person to serve in the US Navy in WWII.

    While in the Pacific, she was damaged from both a collision and an uncharted reef, and was sent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for repairs - earning the nickname Battleship X to obscure her identity from the enemy who thought she may have been sunk. Once seaworthy, Battleship X sortied in the Atlantic with the British Home Fleet to the Mediterranean for the Invasion of Sicily, and then on to convoy escort duty in the Arctic protecting ships on the "Murmansk Run" to the Soviet Union, which were being threatened by the battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhorst. On her second Pacific deployment South Dakota took part in the Gilberts and Marshalls invasions, the Marianas Campaign, using her heavy guns to shell enemy positions on Saipan and Tinian and the Battle of the Philippine Sea, where she sustained bomb damage. After stateside repairs, she returned to the Pacific screening carriers until she reentered the war, where she participated in every major action in the Pacific: The Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the invasion of the Marshall Islands, actions in the Central Pacific against Truk, operations in New Guinea, The Battle of the Philippine Sea, the liberation of the Philippines, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the bombardment of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and attacks against the Japanese home islands. She was then sent to bombard Okinawa and the Japanese home islands. She was present in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 during the formal surrender of Japan.

    The flag is perfect for a collector of Atlantic, Pacific, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima or Tokyo Bay artifacts.

    The WWII awards of the USS South Dakota include: Navy Unit Commendation; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal and Navy Occupation Service Medal. The USS South Dakota earned thirteen campaign stars during WWII and they are now emblazoned on the crest of the nuclear submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790).

    Condition: Good - the ensign is used, worn and soiled with a completely frayed fly end, but otherwise complete.

    This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information, along with a 1988 letter of transmittal from the donor to the museum.

    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: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 440

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