WILLOUGHBY, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, Milestone Auctions of Willoughby (suburban Cleveland) Ohio will offer an iconic and historically important survivor of World War II: the 48-star American battle flag from LCT 595, one of the first US Navy vessels to land on Utah Beach (Normandy, France) on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
The centerpiece of Milestone's Premier Guns & Military Auction, the flag was recovered by Boatswain George Edward Rudisill after the devastating Battle of Normandy, which claimed the lives of more than 225,000 Allied servicemen.
"The commanding officer ordered Boatswain Rudisill to remove the tattered flag from the landing craft and replace it with a new one," said Milestone Auctions co-owner Miles King. "At that point, Boatswain Rudisill asked if he could keep the flag and was granted permission. He kept it, together with the only known photograph of LCT 595, in a shoebox until his passing in 2013. Since then, the flag and related mementos have remained in the Rudisill family."
Of the few known American Flags from amphibious vessels that landed at Normandy, the Rudisill family's flag is quite likely the best example. It is offered with an archive of provenance that includes Rudisill's service records documenting his participation in the D-Day assault on the Normandy coast, his US Navy muster rolls registration card, photos of Rudisill in uniform, and the rare photo of LCT 595 on Utah Beach. It is also accompanied by a sworn affidavit from Rudisill's son, Thomas, in which he reiterates his father's account of the D-Day Invasion. The flag retains a few German machine gun bullet holes and has tattered edges from being blown about as the craft encountered turbulent waters. It is expected to sell for $40,000-$80,000.
The auction also includes an exceptional array of Civil War relics, photographic images (tintypes and ambrotypes), and other rare memorabilia. A Matthew Brady carte de visite depicting Major General George Armstrong Custer with his wife Libby and brother Lt. Thomas Ward Custer was taken in Washington, D.C., in 1865, the same year Gen. Custer was awarded two Medals of Honor. Both brothers were killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn. The auction estimate is $2,000-$3,000.
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SOURCE Milestone Auctions