EWING - Prized possessions steeped in military history are hitting the auction block after being in the hands of a Mercer County collector for years.

Chris Biache, of Ewing, has a vast collection of weapons, helmets, uniforms, maps and even some flags stained with the blood of U.S. soldiers, he says.

"The whole reason to have this stuff is to cherish it, is to preserve it, to share it with other people," he says.

Biache is selling some of his items at a Word War II auction next week in New York. One item he is putting up for sale is a 48-star flag that he says was flown on D-Day in Normandy.

Biache says it is time to let other people enjoy the collection. He hopes to raise enough money to help pay college tuition bills for his daughters.

"We're all just caretakers, and hopefully this stuff will be here long after I'm dead and gone," he said, referring to his collection, which is expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction.

The "World War II 70th Anniversary Sale" auction is April 29 at Bonhams.