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U.S. flag flown on Normandy Beach brings WWII history to Billings

Sergeant John Horvath put the flag up on June 6, 1944.
Posted at 7:25 PM, Nov 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 16:27:12-05

BILLINGS — A military veteran brought out a piece of World War II history this weekend.

The first United States of America flag flown on the beach during the Normandy Invasion was displayed at the Lodge Casino on Saturday.

Sergeant John Horvath put the flag up on June 6, 1944.

He then mailed it home to his wife in Ohio.

This year, U.S. Navy veteran Steve Billey saw that the flag was available on a story on the CBS Morning News.

He bought it for $162,500.

For that price, Billey also received Sgt. Horvath's dog tags and Purple Heart Medal.

The flag has a bullet hole, which adds to the history and symbolism.

“I can only imagine what the troops went through, you know, running and hiding from all these bullets, sacrificed their lives to give us this freedom, and this great nation,” said Billey. “This is the greatest nation on the planet, so it means the world to me.

Billey displayed the flag as a fundraiser for veterans.