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WWII Flag from the Battleship USS New Jersey

The 48-star ensign of BB-62, "The Big J", (Also known as "The Black Dragon" in WWII due to being painted a dark blue, which made it very difficult to see in the dark.) is a Defiance brand wool flag with sewn stars & stripes and is finished with a roped canvas header and two rope loops. The flag has a sewn maker's mark on the upper obverse hoist and is ink stamped "10 x 15 FT" and marked by hand "BB62" twice and "NEW JERSEY" in faded black marker. Actual finished size is 105" by 167". This size flag would have been the main national flag flown from the mast of the New Jersey. As fewer WWII veterans survive and interest in the war’s history increases, the value of this historic flag will only increase. WWII flags we sold 20 years ago for a few $hundred are now bringing many times that price at auction.

The New Jersey, the second of four Iowa Class battleships built during the war, was launched on the one-year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and commissioned in May of 1943. After a training and shakedown cruise, she reported for duty in the Pacific in January of 1944. She began her career as the flagship of the 5th fleet under Admiral Spruance, operating against Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands by screening aircraft carriers and bombarding Eniwetok. Her next major campaign was against New Guinea, the Marianas Islands, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. New Jersey was made flagship of Admiral's Halsey's Third Fleet and cruised the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa, and Formosa in preparation for the liberation of the Philippines. After the landings at Leyte she made her last cruise as Admiral Halsey's flagship guarding carriers in attacks on Formosa, Okinawa, Luzon, Indo-China, Hong Kong, Swatow, Amoy, and Okinawa. She screened the attacks on Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese home islands until she sailed for the states for a refit, rejoining the fleet just before the Japanese surrender. The New Jersey then served as the flagship for the US Navy in Japanese waters until relieved, when she became a part of Operation Magic Carpet and returned over 1,000 servicemen to the U.S. After WWII, she served in Korea and Vietnam and is currently a museum ship.

WWII Awards of the USS New Jersey (BB-62) include China Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with nine campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and Philippine Liberation Medal with two campaign stars. When combined with her post-war awards the New Jersey holds the distinction of being the most decorated battleship in US history.

This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information. For more information on this collection, click on "Dr. Clarence Rungee".

M1493 $2995

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Iowa Class Battleship Specifications, as Originally Built:

Displacement: 48,110 BRT

Length: 887 feet

Crew: 1911 men

Armament: 9 - 16"/50 guns (3x3),

20 - 5"/38 DP guns (10x2),

76 - 40 mm AA (19x4),

52 - 20 mm AA (52x1),

3 aircraft, 2 catapults.

Max speed: 33 knots

Engines: Geared turbines, 4 shafts

Power: 212,000