DALLAS – Heritage Auctions’ June 11 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Auction totaled $1 million with Lt. William L. Willhoit’s D-Day battle-scarred flag taking top lot honors at $55,000. The rare Operation Overlord and Neptune “situation map” owned and used by Gen. Omar Bradley made its auction debut and hammered for $43,750. The auction was 93 percent sold by lot. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
“This flag is not only memorable because of the pivotal days it was flown, it is momentous because of the story that comes with it.” said Jason Watson, Arms & Armor consignment director at Heritage. “Ensign Wilhoit, a true American hero, assumed command of the LCT 540 after his officer-in-charge was killed in the first moments of the assault. Despite his young age, Wilhoit persisted and continued to fight and lead for the next four days of the landing.”
Additional flags highlighted at the auction included a 34-star, Battle of Antietam, blood-stained flag (below) that realized $27,500 following interest from three bidders and a 35-star Company K silk cavalry guidon which sold for $8,750.
Omar Bradley’s D-Day map for Operations Overlord and Neptune (below) was used by Bradley during the invasion at Normandy. Titled “Situation – 2400 Hrs 6 June 1944 Hq. Fusag [First United States Army Group] Secret,” the map, measuring 20 inches high by 22-1/2 inches wide, was printed with blue and black ink. It sold for under estimates for $43,750.
A unique assortment of guns was offered, led by a fine Colt Model 1860 Army revolver, which ended at $16,250. A pre-WWII Colt (below) with original blued finish and was offered in the original Colt black box that was numbered to the gun realized $15,000. A stunning fine and engraved L.C. Smith Crown Grade double-barrel shotgun sold for $12,500, a scarce and desirable Smith & Wesson .357 magnum with original box and certificate realized $11,562 and a Colt Bisley Model single-action revolver from 1907 made $10,000.
Historical pieces from the Civil War and both World Wars included an M4 Enigma enciphering machine from the wreck of the German submarine Ammerland. The elusive enciphering machine realized $21,875. A fantastic, painted Type A-2 leather flight jacket decorated with the word “Mac’s High Hats” sold for $4,250 and a World War I service Jacket with belt and overseas hat reached $3,500.
Additional highlights included a cased Colt 1849 pocket revolver with damascene work that realized $8,125 and an American silver-hilted small sword that made $4,750.