Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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.
WATCH NEXT: How 'Live. Die. Repeat' Captures The Future Of Amphibious Assault
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.