Original U.S. WWII D-Day Utah Beach LCT 530 American Flag with Notarized Letter of Authenticity

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. June 6, 1944 is the most celebrated day of World War II. On that day nearly 160,000 Allied troops simultaneous landed on five separate beachheads along a 50 mile stretch of heavily fortified coastline in Normandy, France. At the day’s conclusion the Allies gained a foothold in continental Europe, and the arduous drive to liberate Europe from NSDAP occupation had begun. IMA is honored and proud to offer an American flag flown during the invasion of Normandy on the USS LCT-530 at Utah Beach.

This is a documented piece of American military history that symbolizes the heroic efforts and sacrifices of American fighting forces participating in one of the largest amphibious assaults in world history, often considered the most crucial Allied victory of World War II. “They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt told the nation in a prayer read over the radio on the night of June 6, 1944.

LCT 530 D-DAY Flag Statement of Authenticity

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
To Whom It May Concern:
I, Jason Hall, attest that my Grandfather, Gunner's Mate Second Class Harry Heckman (1925-1998), was attached to Flotilla Four and stationed onboard LCT 530 (Landing Craft Tank) on June 6th, 1944 during initial assault waves of Normandy, France (D-Day, WWII). Furthermore, Harry Heckman, at the immediate conclusion of D-Day operations, removed and kept the Flag flown aboard LCT 530 during D-Day Operations on June 6th 1944. As verbally stated to be fact, by my Grandfather Harry Heckman, and to the best of my knowledge, this Flag (removed by Harry Heckman) is the D-Day Flag of LCT 530.
The Flag has been in the possession of my family since being brought back by Harry Heckman. Upon his passing, I inherited the Flag from Harry Heckman.
The D-Day Flag of LCT 530 is also accompanied (enclosed herein) by a provenance file of documents related to Harry Heckman and his WWII service.
Signed Jason Hall, Grandson of Harry Heckman. Notarized in the State of California.

This is simply incredible, seldom do we see landing craft flags from the initial waves of the Normandy invasion. Even more rarely do such flags have such extensive supporting historical documentation; over 140 scans of Heckman's official wartime documents (confirming his assignment to LCT-530 and his involvement in the first wave of the D-Day invasion), personal diary entries (including an entry from D-Day), wartime photos (including LCT-530), personal correspondence, as well as a four page notarized Statement of Authenticity from the Veteran's grandson. The statement attests that not only is this the very flag taken from LCT-530, which successfully landed on "Utah Beach" in Normandy France on D-day, but that this flag was in the sole possession of the family since being brought home by his Grandfather who personally removed the flag from LCT-530. It just doesn't get much better than this!

This historic piece of extraordinary World War II history is in the condition one would expect from a flag flown on a naval vessel that is now over 70 years old: tattered ends caused by high winds and discoloration. Its dirty from exhaust fumes that were typically seen on heavily used flags flown from smaller craft of the era. Regardless, this flag has withstood the battlefield and the test of time. It is a physical link to that momentous day in June on the French coastline where Allied forces began to push back NSDAP tyranny. This 48-star American flag is retained at 80% completeness and originally measured 60" x 30" with classic four grommet Navy issue specifications. The custom built shadow box wood frame measures 62" x 33.5" and is 2.5" deep. The flag has been expertly mounted on backing board with correct colored (red, blue, white) stitches best preserving the flag in place free of experiencing any additional damage or movement. The frame is also lightweight making it easy for one person to hang.

LCT-530 was a type Landing Craft Tank Mk 6 built by Bison Shipbuilding Co. (North Tonawanda, New York)  Ordered: 18 Aug 1943,  Laid down: 2 Sep 1943,  Launched: 9 Oct 1943 assigned to Flotilla 4 which was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Louis T. Hubbard. LCT-530 was part of the initial D-Day invasion wave on June 6th 1944 and landed on the Tare Green section of Utah Beach. According to Heckman’s diary, they made their first drop (depositing tanks) on Tare Green then reported to LST-499 to reload for more runs.

Amphibious tanks provided essential support on Utah Beach, providing immediate fire support for the infantry at the initial stage of the landing (during which the balance of power is particularly unfavorable for the attacker) and when progressing inland. The Germans were impressed by the landing of tanks, which seriously undermined their morale and reduced their fighting value. 28 of the 32 tanks planned for the first wave attack managed to land, clearing the German support points with a large firepower.

In an original award document (scanned copy included) dated May 22nd, 1945 Heckman became eligible for a Bronze Star in the European-African Theater Ribbon because he Served with credit aboard LCT 530, LCT Flotilla Four, as part of the initial assault waves during the invasion of the coast of France.

In addition to the framed flag the following are included:

- Original notarized four page Statement of Authenticity letter signed by Jason Hall grandson of Gunner's Mate Second Class Harry Heckman Navy Serial Number: 710-63-33.

- 140+ scans of Heckman's official wartime documents (confirming his assignment to LCT-530 and his involvement in the first wave of the D-Day invasion), personal diary entries (including an entry from D-Day), wartime photos (including LCT-530), personal correspondence and more.

For comparison we researched some other D-Day landing flags that have come to market in the past few years and the prices they fetched.

- Flag from LCC 60 guide boat for Utah Beach Landing sold Heritage Auction in Dallas, TX for $514,000 on June 12, 2016. Read about it at this link.

- Flag from LST 493 sold in June, 2014 to Glenn Beck for $350,000 read about it at this link.

- Flag from USS LCI(L)-421 which landed at Gold Beach sold at Rock Island Auction in September 2017 sold for $250,000. View at this link.

- Flag from LCT-540 (which was also in Flotilla 4) sold in June, 2017 at Heritage Auction in Dallas, TX for $55,000 see it at this link

This flag is a true national treasure and deserves to be admired and respected as a memory of largest seaborne invasion in history.

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