WWII D-Day Flag Sold at Live Auction

A tattered American flag flown during the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II will go up for sale Thursday by a Tallahassee-based auction house.

He has a story to tell. The flag was returned to the United States by Harry Heckman, a native of Brooklyn, New York, ship’s clerk and navy who had enlisted two years before the battle on June 6, 1944 or D-Day. He was making a glacial cold. Waves of American soldiers washed up along the beach and flooded the land from all directions.

Harry Heckman, a Navy gunner second class, who served on LCT 530 during D-Day. He retrieved a tattered American flag straight from LCT 530.

Many had just left boot camp or military school, even the officers in charge. Heckman was among them. He was aboard the LCT 530 (Landing Craft Tank), a small vessel, which took part in the Utah Beach operations. Decades later, D-Day survivors told stories of the bitter battle that left soldiers dead face down in the water or injured by German artillery fire, landmines and bullets.

“Despite our inexperience, I think we did a credible job in Normandy,” Heckman wrote in a June 20, 1988 letter to the Naval Institute Press.

Heckman retrieved the battle-borne flag straight from the ship and brought it home after being honorably discharged. Since then, the flag has belonged to the Heckman family. More recently it has been in the care of Jason Hall, Heckman’s grandson.

Encased in a frame of shadow, the rare flag is a gem among historical treasures. Malcolm Mason, auctioneer and appraiser at Tallahassee-based Centurion Auctions, said only a handful of D-Day flags have ever made it to the auction market.

“It’s in good shape for what it is,” said Mason, himself a Navy veteran and auctioneer for more than 20 years.

Bidding for the online auction starts at $25,000. The pre-auction estimate of the flag ranges from $30,000 to $50,000.

Contact TaMaryn Waters at [email protected] or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter.

Auction Details

The auction takes place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 30 during a live auction on CenturionAuctions.com. Centurion Auctions, headquartered at 2490 Centerville Road in Tallahassee, has offices in Sarasota and Palm Beach.

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