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USS Shark SS-174 Challenge Coin

SS-174 Coin
SS-174 Coin
Item# coin-ss-174
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Product Description

February 11, 1942 -- 59 Men Lost

A beautiful 1.75 inch brass coin honoring the men of World War II who gave their lives fighting for our country...

The front of the coin honors the USS Shark (SS 174). The back has the following quote:

"To the 374 officers and 3131 men of the Submarine Force who gave their lives in the winning of this war, I can assure you that they went down fighting and that their brothers who survived them took a grim toll of our savage enemy to avenge their deaths."

-Vice Admiral C.A. Lockwood, Jr. Commander Submarine Force, 1943 - 1946

About the USS Shark (SS 174)...

After having transported Admiral Hart and other officials from Manila to Surabaya on her first patrol, SHARK, commanded by LCDR L. Shane, Jr., departed on January 5, 1942 for her second war patrol. She saw a torpedo, fired at her by an enemy submarine on January 6.

In anticipation of a possible enemy attack at Ambon (Amboina), COMSUBASIATIC told SHARK to contact Dutch submarines at the harbor entrance of that island. On January 25, SHARK was advised that heavy air raids on Ambon might indicate an enemy landing force moving toward the island.

Two days later SHARK was ordered to take station as part of a submarine group reconnoitering a major enemy move south through Molukka passage. On January 29, because another move toward Ambon was indicated, SHARK was ordered to cover the passage to the east of Lifoematola. The next day this was enlarged to include the area to Bangka Passage. On February 2 SHARK reported to Surabaya that she had been depth charged 10 miles off Tifore Island and that she had missed on one torpedo attack. Five days later SHARK reported an empty enemy cargo ship heading northeast. In answer to these messages, Surabaya pointed out that such transmissions contained little information of use in appraising the situation, and that they might very possibly reveal to the enemy a position to avoid. No further messages were received from SHARK.

She was told on February 8 to proceed to Makassar Strait via the north coast of Celebes, and later was told to report information. Nothing further was heard from SHARK and on March 7 she was reported as presumed lost.

A Japanese report of antisubmarine attacks available now records at least three of which might have been on SHARK. One was east of Menado on northern Celebes on February 11, 1942; the second was north of Kendari on the southeast coast of Celebes on February 17, 1942; the third was east of Kandari on February 21, 1942. Also, in 1944, a Japanese press release claimed that an enemy subchaser rammed a U.S. Submarine in Manipa Strait in February 1942. No mention is made of this attack in official Japanese reports, but their reports were notoriously inaccurate and incomplete, especially during the early part of the war.

Since Dutch and English submarines were operating in the area patrolled by SHARK, it is impossible at this time to determine whether any or all of the above mentioned attacks were survived by submarines operating with our Atlantic Fleet. Loss of SHARK to an enemy minefield is deemed improbable, since the enemy was on the offensive at this time and would naturally hesitate to lay mines in the path of his advance down the Strait of Makassar. Thus indications point to the probability that SHARK was lost through enemy depth charge attack; however, the specific attack responsible for the loss cannot be determined. The one on February 11 off Menado is thought most likely, since SHARK had been ordered to northern Celebes. Would make an excellent addition to your collection or for your favorite sailor! Collect the entire series!

OPTIONAL: Our Air-Tite acrylic cases provide the ultimate long-term protection for your coin. They are made of crystal clear, hard Acrylic and will never yellow over time; the foam rings are made of Volara and both are free of PVC that could damage your coin.


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