OPERATION OVERLORD: AMERICAN FLAG FLOWN BY BRITISH LCT 7074, NORMANDY, JUNE TO JULY 1944 30 x 53in (76 x 135cm)

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Lot 269
OPERATION OVERLORD: AMERICAN FLAG FLOWN BY BRITISH LCT 7074, NORMANDY, JUNE TO JULY 1944
30 x 53in (76 x 135cm)

Sold for US$ 9,375 inc. premium
OPERATION OVERLORD: AMERICAN FLAG FLOWN BY BRITISH LCT 7074, NORMANDY, JUNE TO JULY 1944
A heavy cotton US flag, made in New York, with white hoist and brass ringlets, severe fraying from wind damage on right side.
Provenance: The Mountfitchet Castle Museum, Essex.

An American flag flown in action on the Normandy beaches by the last surviving British LCT in the world. The LCT was developed by the British Navy in 1940 under the insistence of Churchill. It went through various phases marks 1-4 in 1940-1942, when the Americans adopted the craft and worked on marks 5-9, in cooperation with the British. 7407 is a mark 3. This flag was flown aboard the British Navy's Landing Craft Tank vessel(LCT) 7074, which carried 10 Sherman tanks into British sector Gold Beach on D-Day. It was part of the 17th LCT Flotilla (Assault Group L2), LCT Squadron H of the Eastern task Force. LCT 7074, commanded by Sub Lt John Baggot RNVR, successfully disembarked nine of her ten tanks onto Gold that day, and continued to shuttle men and tanks to Normandy over the next few months, making 32 landings in all. Despite being a British craft the mixing up of the landing craft groups with both American and British crews presumably created both a frisson and a camaraderie, resulting in the swapping of flags and suchlike. Although the British crew would have flown a Union Jack on D-Day, on later trips to Normandy beaches Utah and Omaha, the American flag would have been flown out of respect. The flag was obviously up flying for a while as the wind managed to create the fraying.

LCT 7074 was decommissioned in 1948, renamed Landfall and became the clubhouse for the Master Mariners Club of Liverpool, and later in the 1990s she became a nightclub, but that failed eventually and she was found half submerged in Birkenhead in 2014 after an earlier attempt to restore her failed. A grant of a million pounds from the National Memorial Trust enabled the vessel to be raised and moved to her new home at the National Museum of the Navy at Portsmouth, England. There she is undergoing a full restoration, as she is the only surviving British Royal Navy LCT in existence.
30 x 53in (76 x 135cm)
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