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U.S. D-Day flag to return home 75 years after Normandy landing
A rare D-Day flag that flew on a U.S. Navy ship leading the allied advance at the beaches of Normandy nearly 75 years ago will be returned to America after going on display in the Netherlands on Monday (February 4). The 48-star "Normandy" flag was on the U.S. Navy's LCC 60, one of just three advanced fleet vessels directing troops onto Utah Beach in German-occupied France on June 6, 1944. Howard Vander Beek, who commanded the vessel as a Navy lieutenant, kept the flag throughout the war, brought it home and kept it in his basement until he died in 2014. It was sold at auction by his family two years later and bought by Dutch collector Bert Kreuk for $514,000. "They're all special, this one maybe is a little bit more unique," said U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra. Kreuk, who ran a business in the United States for 20 years, wants to donate it to the American people and hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will come pick it up in the Netherlands. Hoekstra said he has discussed the flag with high-level U.S. government officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and that they would find a way to transfer it back to the U.S. that would make everybody happy. Dozens of U.S. and Dutch soldiers stood at attention as the tattered flag, stained by diesel fumes and dirt, arrived at Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum in a military convoy headed by a U.S. Sherman tank. Rotterdam's orchestra played "Fanfare for the Common Man", written in 1942 by U.S. composer Aaron Copland, as the flag was laid into a display case by soldiers. The flag will be on display in Rotterdam until February 17.