New home for D-Day flag with eastern Iowa connection - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New home for D-Day flag with eastern Iowa connection

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SOESTERBERG, Netherlands (AP) - An American flag that flew on the stern of the boat that carried the first U.S. troops to Utah Beach on D-Day traveled by Chinook helicopter yesterday to its new temporary home at the Netherlands' National Military Museum.

That flag had spent years in eastern Iowa.

Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek, from Cedar Falls, brought the flag home after World War II.

He died 2 years ago.

Dutch businessman Bertram Kreuk, who bought the 48-star flag at an auction in Texas for $514,000, has loaned it to the museum in the Netherlands.

The fragile flag was greeted by an honor guard and dignitaries that included a group of American World War II veterans.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said the flag "should remind us that freedom must never be taken for granted."

The Dallas-based auction house that arranged the flag's sale in June says the banner bears a bullet hole that is believed to have come from a German machine gun.

D-Day marks the date during World War II when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The museum plans to display the flag until the end of the year as part of an exhibit devoted to the D-Day landings and the symbolism of the American flag.

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