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D-Day landing-craft American flag set to soar Jan. 28

An American flag recovered by a boatswain aboard a US Navy vessel during the D-Day invasion is starring in the Jan. 28 auction at Milestone Auctions.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Milestone Auctions will offer an iconic and historically important survivor of World War II. It is a 48-star American battle flag from LCT 595. It is from one of the first US Navy vessels to land on Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Remarkable provenance of D-Day landing flag

American flag from D-Day

American flag flown on US Navy vessel LCT 595, one of the first to land at Utah Beach in Normandy, France, during D-Day, June 6, 1944. This scarce item heads into the auction with an estimate of $40,000 to $80,000. (All photos courtesy of Milestone Auctions)

The centerpiece of Milestone’s Premier Guns & Military Auction, the flag was recovered by Boatswain George Edward Rudisill after the devastating D-Day 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 from D-Day, the Rudisill family’s flag is quite likely the best example. It's provenance includes Rudisill’s service records. These items document his participation in the D-Day assault on the Normandy coast. As well as his US Navy muster rolls registration card, and photos of Rudisill in uniform. Also included is the rare photo of LCT 595 on Utah Beach. A sworn affidavit from Rudisill’s son, Thomas. In it 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. This relates to the craft being blown about in turbulent waters. The auction estimate is $40,000-$80,000.

WWII memorabilia to include soldier apparel

An extensive selection of WWII Nazi memorabilia runs the gamut from helmets (Luftwaffe, police and Luftschutz), tunics and other apparel to flags, belts and medals. American groupings include such WWII themes as USS Evans Bronze Star, 11th Airborne, and 65th Medical Regiment. An earlier grouping consists of uniforms, documents, photos, dog tags and other paraphernalia from World War I Farriers of the 7th Field Battalion Signal Corps.

An exceptional array of Civil War relics and memorabilia includes a tintype of a soldier identified as F.R. Miller of Company D, 2nd Arkansas Volunteer Infantry. The image appears in a leatherette case together with the soldier’s C.S.A. reunion badge with his name, a Confederate Flag and other military details. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000. Lot 119, a Civil War full-plate ambrotype of a Federal naval officer in a dress jacket with epaulets and braid, is also impressive, at 8½ by 6½ inches. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

Unique carte de visite among Civil War offerings

Another photographic treasure is a Matthew Brady carte de visite of Major General George

Custer family photo

Carte de viste of Gen. George Custer, beside his wife Libby, and accompanied by his brother, Lt. Thomas W. Custer, circa 1865, with an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

Armstrong Custer posing with his wife Libby and his brother Lt. Thomas Ward Custer. The image dates to 1865 in Washington, D.C. Gen. Custer receives two Medals of Honor during this time. Both brothers were killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

Other Civil War items of note include a Schenkel inert artillery shell, a field surgical set, artillery and cavalry swords, an M1851 NCO belt and buckle, US belt plate, bull’s-eye canteen, a Confederate or militia drum canteen and many other relics.

The firearms section of the sale contains over 35 Winchester rifles and shotguns, many of them boxed; five Parker shotguns, more than 75 handguns (Colt, Smith & Wesson, Baretta, Ruger, etc.), many boxed; and a fine selection of rifles, World War II Japan Arisakas and German Mausers, and more.

Collector sights may settle on collectible firearms

A Parker D-Grade 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun, with a nice finish, strong action, checkered deluxe grain stocks, and an engraved receiver and hardware, is on offer. This desirable gun is expected to make $2,000-$4,000 at auction.

A pre-1898 Maynard Target 40-60 lever action rifle boasts a 26-inch barrel with an excellent bore, good action, nice checkered stock, and a checkered pistol grip on the lever. This is a higher-grade example of a well-preserved antique rifle. Its pre-auction estimate is $2,000-$3,000.

Lot 332 is a firearm oddity dating to 1857, by F. Reuthe. A rare double-barrel version of an animal trap gun, it features barbs that the user uses to set with bait. When tugged on by an animal, the barbs would cause the gun to fire from both barrels. “Its fluted hand grip is an enigma, however, since guns of this type were not meant to be sidearms,” Miles King observed. The gun is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Edged weapons include nine Japanese Katana swords, 14 Japanese pole arms (including Yari and Mojiri), and more than 30 bayonets, including WWII German, Japanese and US productions. Additionally, there are 10+ World War II German and Japanese daggers and several military knives.

Auction details

The auction will start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, with all forms of bidding available, including live online.

For additional information call 440-527-8060 or email Online: