BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL/ BATTLE OF PELELIU: AMERICAN 48 STAR BATTLE FLAG CARRIED BY 2ND BATTALION 5TH MARINE CORPS (2/5). A battle-worn 48 star American Flag, 1460 x 1960mm. Red, blue, and white linen, 48 white stars on blue ground at upper left canton, red and white horizontally-striped ground.
Lot 274
BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL/ BATTLE OF PELELIU: AMERICAN 48 STAR BATTLE FLAG CARRIED BY 2ND BATTALION 5TH MARINE CORPS (2/5).
A battle-worn 48 star American Flag, 1460 x 1960mm. Red, blue, and white linen, 48 white stars on blue ground at upper left canton, red and white horizontally-striped ground.
Sold for US$ 35,000 inc. premium

Fine Books and Manuscripts

12 Jun 2018, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL/ BATTLE OF PELELIU: AMERICAN 48 STAR BATTLE FLAG CARRIED BY 2ND BATTALION 5TH MARINE CORPS (2/5).
A battle-worn 48 star American Flag, 1460 x 1960mm. Red, blue, and white linen, 48 white stars on blue ground at upper left canton, red and white horizontally-striped ground. The luff with stencilled marks "2nd Batt 5th USMC," "2/5 1941," three USMC logos stamped in ink, two brass grommets. The flag badly stained, blown out, and torn from battle use, with loss of around 50% of the fabric.

An historic flag carried and flown in Battle by the 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Corps, apparently both at the Battle of Guadalcanal in August 7th 1942 to February 9th 1943, and the fight for Peleliu Island, September 15th to November 27th 1944. In both battles the 5th Marines fought long and hard in Guadalcanal, taking and defending Henderson Field airbase, and in Peleliu capturing an airfield in a battle that was intended to take four days, but in fact took two months. The losses of Marines on Peleliu exceeded all other amphibious operations in the Pacific Theater. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, as always, were in the thick of the action in both battles, and this particular flag would have been raised over HQs or up trees to denote the advances of the marines on the ground. The motto of the 5th is "Retreat Hell," taken from the French trenches of World War I, when a marine was advised to retreat by a French Officer, and the marine officer replied "Retreat? Hell no we just got here!"
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  1. Ian Ehling
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
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