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LOT 439
Rare and Historic United States Navy Ensign from World
War II Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Otter - Offered here is the
flag flown from the mast of U.S.S. Otter (DE-210) during its
service in the United States Navy during World War II. This
forty-eight star flag embodies the American Spirit, it shows
years of service with its stains, frayed ends, and a torn hoist
edge grommet, but survived its hardships and made it home.
The U.S.S. Otter served in the North Atlantic hunting German U-boats after a brief stint protecting ships in the Mediterranean going to and from Casablanca. During its service the Otter would play a crucial role in the sinking of U-248, and the capture of U-805. The Otter sent a boarding party on to U-805 where it became the possession of the ship. The boarding party then cut down the black surrender flag and hoisted an American flag, possibly this very flag, for its journey in tow back to the United States. During an attack on German U-boat U-546, U.S.S. Otter played a crucial role rescuing the survivors and retrieving the bodies of those killed when the U.S.S Frederick C. Davis (DE-136) was sunk. The reinforced hoist edge of the flag is marked “U.S. ENSIGN NO 11”. Included with the flag is a binder containing a wealth of period photographs of U.S.S. Otter and its crew as well as the burial at sea of those killed in on the U.S.S. Fredrick C. Davis. Several of the photos have a United States flag, possibly this very flag, flown from the ship. CONDITION: Very good as flown from the U.S.S. Otter. The fly end of the flag is frayed, with the white stripes and hoist edge stained from exhaust in the North Atlantic. The red and navy remain vibrant with a small repair in the navy field of stars. This magnificent symbol of the American war effort would make a statement piece in any World War II or United States military collection! Provenance: The Saloga Collection.
Estimate: 3,500 - 5,500
       LOT 440
 Grouping of Medals, Ribbons and Related Artifacts from World War II Naval Aviator and Fighter Ace Commander Herman J. Rossi, Jr. - Per a number of included statements from prior owners, the items in this grouping are from the personal collection of Commander Herman J. Rossi Junior, U.S. Navy Reserve, World War II veteran and confirmed aerial ace. Born in Portland, Oregon, Rossi graduated from the University of Idaho in 1940 with a commission in the U.S. Army Reserve as a 2nd Lieutenant, which they resigned to become an aviation cadet with
the Navy. After graduating from flight school at Pensacola in 1941, he stuck around as an instrument flight instructor before joining VF-19 out in the Pacific. Flying F6F Hellcat fighters for the bulk of the war (his unit transitioned to F8F Bearcats, but not in time to see action in them), Rossi distinguished himself in both the attack and pursuit/fighter roles, recording six confirmed and four additional probable kills in air to air combat and noted multiple times in award citations for making telling hits on Japanese Navy vessels with a mix of ordnance. Remaining in active service until December of 1945, Rossi returned to the University for law school. He would rejoin the Navy Reserve as an active member in 1950, retiring at the rank of Commander in 1970, with a final posting as commanding officer of VF-901, flying the F9F-8 Cougar jet fighter. Among the included documentation is a copy of a letter from Commander Rossi to the American Fighter Ace Association, detailing the particulars of his service in his own words, signed notes from two prior owners of the grouping stating that they were originally purchased from Rossi’s widow in 1985, original copies of the temporary and permanent citations for several of the commendations Rossi earned in the Pacific, and two of Rossi’s instrument flight certification cards (one from 1942, one from 1945). The grouping of items includes Rossi’s Naval Aviator Certificate/ID from 1941, a pair of Commander shoulder boards, “ruptured duck” Honorable Discharge lapel pin, embroidered patch and nametag from the American Fighter Aces Association, two sets of aviator wings (one bullion patch, one silver plated), three ribbon bar rows and one loose ribbon bar, and the medals for the Navy Cross with Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.
CONDITION: Very fine overall.
Provenance: The Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection.
328 Estimate: 1,500 - 2,500

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