Lot 355

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A rare D-Day document with impeccable provenance to the staff of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. HAROLD W. BLAKELY (1893-1966), commander of the 4th Infantry Division Artillery at the time of Operation Overlord, a composite map of Utah Beach, 28 1/2" x 22", comprised of hundreds of aerial photographs of the landing beach and the surrounding countryside made by Allied reconnaissance aircraft in the months leading up to the invasion. The map is boldly labeled "Top Secret - BIGOT - Until Loaded on Craft Thereafter 'Restricted'" in the plate at lower right, with the intended landing zone clearly demarcated at bottom center. The small villages La Madeline, Le Mesnilde and La Pecherie are labeled just beyond the landing beach, with the larger towns of Veaugoubert, St. Martin de Vareville, Audouville la Hubert and Ste. Marie du Mont identified at the top edge. A "graphic scale" appears at the bottom edge, with the limitation "Copy No. 19 of 3000" at bottom right. The maps shows its original folds with minor soiling to the recto, and more prominent soiling and the period pencil inscription "AA FL CO OO CM GC HL" to the verso, else very good. These composite aerial maps were typically used in pre-invasion briefings to familiarize troops with the topography of the landing beaches, although the successful landings at Utah Beach would take place nearly a mile south of the area identified on this map. This particular example was utilized prior to and during the invasion by Maj. Gen. Blakeley, and was retained by his aide-de-camp, Capt. Roswell F. MacGillivray, the stepfather of our consignor. Among MacGillivray's duties during the Normandy Campaign was to perform reconnaissance and target spotting for the 4th Division Artillery, which landed on Utah Beach with the bulk of the 4th Division on June 6, 1944, and it is highly likely that he consulted this and other maps offered in this sale in the course of these missions. Present with the map are photocopies of a number of documents related to MacGillivray's service in the 4th Division under Maj. Gen. Blakeley, including: MacGillivray's citation for the Bronze Star, 1p. 4to., [n.p., n.d.], by order of 4th Division commander Maj. Gen. RAYMOND O. BARTON, for: "...courage and aggressiveness in executing the numerous reconnaissance missions he was assigned... He skillfully observed enemy concentrations, gun emplacements and vehicles and directed artillery fires upon them with great accuracy and destructive results..." Barton signs at the conclusion in black ink; A second Bronze Star citation, 1p. 4to., [n.p., n.d.], awarded by command of Blakeley for the superior performance of his duties as aide-de-camp; a partial list of the general staff of the 4th Infantry Division, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], May 15, 1945, listing Blakeley as the division commander (following his promotion in December of 1944), with MacGillivray listed beneath as his aide-de-camp; a partial handwritten list of command posts occupied by the headquarters of the 4th Division Artillery during the Normandy Campaign, showing them at La Houssaye and Audouville la Hubert on June 6; an extracted appendix to an after-action report, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], Jan. 7, 1945, reporting that Blakeley and MacGillivray, with their command group, entered Paris on Aug. 25, 1944 and were present at the surrender of the German garrison; a personal postwar T.L.S. from Blakeley to MacGillivray, 1p. 4to., Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1955; a pass, 1p. 4to., [n.p.], June 24, 1945, allowing MacGillivray to travel from Le Havre to Endinburgh and Glasgow, by order of Blakeley; a travel plan, 1p. 4to., Camp Butner, North Carolina, Aug. 23, 1945, indicating that Blakeley and MacGillivray are to travel to a reception in Washington; and MacGillivray's honorable discharge certificate, enlisted record, certificate of service, separation qualification record and post-dated promotion certificate to the rank of captain. Overall a fine relic of Operation Overlord with a wealth of accompanying information.

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July 30, 2019 10:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000