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Honoring the Anniversary of D-Day

History By
(Heritage Auctions)
(Heritage Auctions)

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy during World War II. The largest-scale of its kind in history, the seaborne allied attack came in five waves. Heritage Auctions has a tattered American flag for sale that was there that day—a 48-star Old Glory flown from a guide boat, Landing Craft Control 60 (see its crew shot below). The craft’s skipper, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek, kept the flag as his lone war souvenir for more than 60 years before putting it up for auction. Currently receiving bids online (it’s currently up to $80,000), it will be part of the greater June 12th auction, “Civil War and Militaria Signature Auction,” taking place in Dallas. For more details on the auction and flag, click here. To honor the D-Day anniversary, our editors have selected the best images from the invasion.

D-Day Invasion
The crew of LCC 60, with Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek standing at far left (Heritage Auctions)
D-Day Invasion
U.S. soldiers watch the Normandy coast from a Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel [LCVP] heading towards Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Several vehicles are already present and white smoke can be seen in the distance. This is one of 18 LCVP of the 18th Infantry Regiment who landed at 10:30 am just west of Widerstandsnest 65. At 10:00, the Widerstandsnest 64 had been cleaned by the GIs from the east by the crest of the cliff. The Widerstandsnest 65 was still very active. Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. (Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
D-Day Invasion
An 88 mm shell explodes on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. In the foreground, U.S. soldiers protect themselves from enemy fire. (Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
D-Day Invasion
From Coast Guard landing barges hitting the French Coast with the first waves of invaders, American fighting men wade ashore under heavy machinegun fire from Nazi beach nests in Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. This dramatic D- Day picture, taken from a landing barge by a Coast Guard Combat photographer, shows the soldiers waist deep as they spring forward to the attack. The landing barges would disgorge their loads and dash back to the assault transport for more fighters. This shuttle was under the hail of enemy fire which continued through D-Day. (PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
D-Day Invasion
Troops from the 48th Royal Marines at Saint-Aubin-sur-mer on Juno Beach, Normandy, France, during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)