48 Star "US ENS 9" From Utah Beach

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by Dennis DeAtley, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and excited to be here. I have an Ensign #9 that has been in my family for 74 years. My father served in WWII as part of the 9th Infantry Division . He enlisted in 1940 and served until August 1945. He was in North Africa then sent to England to prepare for Operation Overlord. He landed on Utah Beach with the 9th ID it was there that he said he took the Ensign from one of the landing craft on the beach. The Ensign is marked "US ENS 9" and has 48 stars and 4 grommets. it seems to be wool batting. It has a nice aged patina and some spots that seem to be soot. Save for a few small holes, it is in very good condition given it is at least 74 years old. I will post some pictures as soon as I am able. I would like to have it preserved and if possible, framed for display at home, but not sure what resources to use. Given it's significance to me, I don't want to go trust it to a frame store. Any recommendations would be appreciated,


    At Remagen, He was awarded the Silver Star for carrying two wounded GI's from the bridge under heavy fire and rendering aid until they could be evacuated.
     
  2. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

  3. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole New Member

    Dennis, the pictures didn't come thru. I'd still love to see your flag. Does it have painted stars or sewn stars?

    Regarding framing, do you possess basic woodworking skills? I make my own frames and I have a #9 myself framed. Since most flags are too large to be framed in their entirety they need to be folded. Care must be used there. Mine aren't really folded but bent over some one inch batting. This prevents a hard pointed fold that will break the cloth at some point. I'll try and post a photo.

    Is your father still alive? If so you need to write something up for provenance sake.
     
  4. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member


    Hi Dexter, Thanks for the info. I have not been able to add photos yet. I am trying . The flag is in very good shape. Some minor wear, but really good condition. My father actually made two amphibious landings during WWII. First he landed in French Moroco during Operation Torch with the 9th ID. He fought through N. Africa and Sicily before going to England preparing for Operation Overlord. He landed on Utah Beach on June 10th as part of the 9th ID. I remember as a child seeing this flag in my mother's cedar chest. It was wrapped and labeled "First US Flag to fly in N. Africa". My brother thinks it was from Utah Beach. Given the condition of the flag, and that it has brass grommets, I am thinking that it really was from Operation Torch and not Overlord. Either way, it is historically significant as Operation Torch was the first action US Troops were involved in the European Theater of WWII. I believe he was landed by DD153 as part of the Western Task Force at Safi.
     
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    …..
    Greetings, Dennis!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    To publicly answer the question you asked me privately: Zinc and zinc-coated steel grommets replaced brass grommets on government/military issued Flags sometime in 1942 (I think) shortly after America's entrance into World War II. The primary reason was to save brass & copper for more important areas of the "War Effort". To further save copper for the War Effort, the U.S. started making pennies out of zinc-coated steel in 1943.

    Hope that answers your question!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    …..
     
  6. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

    Thanks Robin that indeed puts this in the proper perspective. That would probably mean that my Father actually obtained the flag in N. Africa as part of Operation Torch in 1942 and not in Operation Overlord in 1944. Either way, it is still a historic flag and worthy of display.
     
  7. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    …..
    Hi, Dennis!

    The Flag's brass grommets can probably narrow the time-frame when the Flag was MADE, but not necessarily when your Father came into possession of it.

    The Flag might have been made in 1942 or in early 1943. It might have been made "pre-war" or even "post-war". It could have been made in, say, 1940, but it didn't get "pulled" out of stored inventory until 1942, 1943, or as late as June, 1944.

    I'm wondering . . .

    The U.S. Army and Army Air Corps usually referred to U.S. Flags as "Flags", but the Navy and Marine corps usually referred to U.S. Flags as "Ensigns". so, I'm wondering if your "ensign" was from off of a ship, or was provided be the Navy? The World War Two era "ensigns" I've seen in pictures (and up-close & personal) usually have markings (usually stencils) indicating that it's a U.S. Flag (Ensign), its size, and the Navy yard where it was made. On the WEST coast, for the Pacific Theater of Operations, it was at the Mare Island (or "M.I.") Navy Yard Flag Shop. On the EAST coast, for the European Theater of Operations, it was at either the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Flag Shop or the Philadelphia Navy Yard's Flag Shop.

    Are there any additional markings on your Flag that might indicate where it was made?

    BTW : If you want to post one or more photos from your computer in one of your entries here, use the cursor to indicate where you want the pic to be situated, then click on the "Upload a File" located in the lower right-hand corner (next to the "Post Reply" button) of the panel you're working in. If the pic/pics are located somewhere on-line, then click on the "image" icon located at the top of the panel, then insert the pic's URL.

    UncleSam-FlyYourFlagOnJuly4th-02.jpg


    This particular image ("Uncle Sam") I created on a "meme creation" website ("IMGFLIP"), then downloaded my "masterpiece" to my computer. I selected the image and uploaded it, then I used my cursor to indicate where I wanted the image to be inserted onto this entry and selected the "Full Image" option button located in the lower Left-hand corner. VOILA!!!

    Thank you!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    …..
     
  8. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

  9. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

  10. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

  11. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

    Robin, besides the "US ENS 9" there are some small markings near the 9. I can make out a couple letters, but it is difficult to read. Yes, my guess is that since it is an Ensign, and his unit was trained at Fort Bragg as one of the first Army units for amphibious assault, that the Ensign was given yo them from the Naval Ship they were on before the landing. There were 3 amphibious landings in French Moroco, Western, Middle and Eastern. His was Western, including Safi and Casablanca. This is a picture from the Western Task Force. View attachment 2230
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole New Member

    Looks like a WW2 era four grommet US Navy flag, size 9. Since it's not marked Mare Island I expect it to have been made at one of the east coast places that Robin mentioned. I'm sure that many Navy flags made it ashore on landings by the Army.

    People are very suspicious of any flags that purportedly made the D-Day landings. This is because Glen Beck paid about a half million dollars for one at a charity auction. Since he did that many have surfaced claiming the same.

    Perhaps your father wrote home describing his flag? just a thought.
     
  13. Dennis DeAtley

    Dennis DeAtley New Member

    Thanks Dexter. I believe this flag was part of Operation Torch - the allied amphibious landings in North Africa on November 8, 1942. My father had a note stating this was the first flag to fly over North Africa. He was part of the 47th Regiment Combat Team of the 9th Infantry Division under command of Gen. George Patton. They landed at Safi, French Moroco just west of Casablanca. It ins not marked "Mares Island" most likely it is from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but the ink is hard to read. Since he also Landed at Utah Beach D-Day+4, my brother thought it was from Utah Beach. But my talk with my father many years ago, he stated it was indeed from Operation Torch. Perhaps not as collectible as D-Day, but historically more significant because it was the first time U.S. Army troops were engaged in an amphibious landing in the European Theater in WWII. I am in the process of having it framed. It will be done correctly as if it were going to be displayed in a museum. The shop that is framing it does do work for some area museums using museum archival backing and UV protected glass. A bit pricey to frame, but I want this preserved for my family
     
  14. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    The flag will look beautiful framed and be a proud reminder of the service and sacrifices of your father. A very nice piece of family history.

    I suggest that you gather as much paperwork as you can as evidence of the flag provenance. Do you have a copy of that note from your father to document how he came to own the flag? If not, you should type up a letter stating exactly what you remember him telling you. Do you have a copy of his military records showing that he served in North Africa? This will greatly support his personal account. How about his award citations from North Africa? Do you have any photos of your father in uniform (good) or serving in North Africa (better) or in North Africa with the flag (best)? I suggest you gather up all of the documentation you can find and make copies. Put a copy into a large envelop taped to the back of the flag frame. I realize that this is a family heirloom and you have no intent to sell it. If you or your descendants ever do decide to sell it having this paperwork to support the history and ownership of the flag could be very helpful.
     

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