W.W. II combat flag on display

Yukon Veterans Museum accepts gift; flew over ship in Okinawa

Yukon Veterans Museum founder/curator Rick Cacini (left) and board member Jerry Icenhower stand beside the museum’s latest addition, a U.S. flag that flew in the Pacific Theater combat zone during World War II. The flag and other artifacts were recently donated by the family of U.S. Navy veteran Mack P. McCabe, who served in the Battle of Okinawa. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

An U.S. flag that flew in the combat zone during World War II is the latest addition at the Yukon Veterans Museum.

The family of U.S. Navy veteran McPherson “Mack” McCabe donated the flag that flew over McCabe’s ship for 42 days and nights (April 25-June 6, 1945) during the Battle of Okinawa.

The flag and photo of the ship are now prominently displayed on a wall near the entrance to the Yukon Veterans Museum, 1010 W Main.

“It was donated in memory of Mack P. McCabe, who served on the ship in World War II,” said Jerry Icenhower, a Yukon Veterans Museum board member.

“Okinawa – as an individual battle – had more American sailors killed than any other battle except for Hawaii. It was very intense for quite a while, and it certainly looks like this flag flew for those 42 days.”

The initial invasion of the island of Okinawa was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater during W.W. II.

The 82-day battle was the bloodiest in the Pacific, with an estimated 50,000 Allied and 110,000 Japanese casualties.

McCabe served on the ammunition ship Bedford Victory (Navy AK-231).



The Navy veteran’s daughter, Sharon McCabe Shepler, donated the flag and ship photos, along with her father’s Navy uniform hat, ship shoes, pants, life preserver, laundry bag, other gear, military magazines and newspapers, and medals to the Yukon Veterans Museum.

Museum staff accepted the gift presented by Rita A. Miller on behalf of Shepler.

“The visitors who have come in this week and have seen the flag were elated over the donation made by these folks,” Yukon Veterans Museum founder/curator Rick Cacini said.

Icenhower, who serves as the museum’s archivist, agreed that this is a treasured addition.

“This flag – that McCabe documented was in the war during the Battle of Okinawa – definitely tells the story about what was going on,” he said.

The Yukon Veterans Museum features military artifacts, memorabilia and historic displays from all U.S. armed services and conflicts.

The museum is open regularly from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays. Group and private tours are available.

For more information, call (405) 517-1901 or (405) 514-6794.