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You can now own a battle-scarred American flag that US troops planted on Omaha Beach on D-Day
LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) - A battle-scarred American flag believed to be the first planted on Omaha beach during the 1944 D-Day landings is expected to fetch more than $55,000 at auction next week, Heritage Auctions said on Monday.
The flag, with a distinctive gold fringe and a repair from an apparent bullet hole, was planted by a U.S. army engineer on Omaha Beach, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles when Allied forces stormed the Normandy coast of France in World War II.
The Dallas auction house said the flag was planted by Columbus, Ohio bartender turned army engineer John Horvath, who later sent the flag to his wife with a letter.
"Take care of the flag. It's the first which went up on the beachhead, two hours after the invasion started. I had to use my tent pole to raise it," Horvath wrote in the letter to his wife.
The letter and the flag's arrival in Columbus were chronicled in a 1944 newspaper clipping with the headline "First Flag on Beachhead in Normandy Arrives Here as Souvenir of Battle." The clipping, which shows Horvath's wife posing with the flag, is believed to be from the Columbus Citizen-Journal in August 1944 and is being sold along with the flag, Heritage said.
Horvath died of a stroke in either 1961 or 1962 and left the flag and other war medals and mementoes to his nephew. The flag is being sold by a private collector.
The flag will be auctioned on June 9, along with Horvath's Purple Heart and other medals. Online bidding is already underway and by Monday had reached $55,000 - above the pre-sale estimate of $50,000.
Flags have become prized items among military collectors. The U.S. flag that flew from the boat that led the first American troops onto Utah Beach during the D-Day landings sold for $514,000 at a Heritage Auction in 2016 - more than five times its estimate.
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Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"
During WWII, the US Army did a massive survey to get soldiers' uncensored opinions — here's what they said
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider
In September 1940, World War II was a year old. The US was still a noncombatant, but it was preparing for a fight.
That month, the US introduced the Selective Training and Service Act — the first peacetime draft in US history. Mobilizing the millions of troops was a monumental task and essential to deploying "the arsenal of democracy" that President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Americans to provide.