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USS Seawolf Challenge Coin

SS-197 Coin
SS-197 Coin
Item# coin-ss-197
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Product Description

October 3, 1944 -- 79 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 Seawolf SS-197. 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 Seawolf SS-197...

SEAWOLF (Lt. Cmdr. A.M. Bontier) left Brisbane on September 21, 1944 beginning her 15th patrol, and arrived at Manus on September 29th. Leaving Manus on the same day, SEAWOLF was directed to carry certain stores and Army personnel to the east coast of Samar.

On October 3rd SEAWOLF and NARWHAL exchanged SJ radar recognition signals at 0756. Later the same day an enemy submarine attack was made, which resulted in the sinking of USS Shelton (DE 407). Since there were four friendly submarines in the vicinity of this attack, they were directed to give their positions and the other three did, but SEAWOLF was not heard from. On October 4th, SEAWOLF again was directed to report her position, and again she failed to.

USS ROWELL (DE 403) and an aircraft attacked a submarine in the vicinity of the attack on SHELTON, having at that time no knowledge of any friendly submarines in the area, and it was thought that SEAWOLF must be held down by these antisubmarine activities. It is possible that SEAWOLF was the submarine attacked.

The report from ROWELL indicates that an apparently lethal attack was conducted in conjunction with a plane which marked the spot with dye. ROWELL established sound contact on the submarine, which then sent long dashes and dots which ROWELL stated bore no resemblance to the existing recognition signals. After one of the several hedgehog attacks a small amount of debris and a large air bubble were seen. It has been established that the Japanese submarine RO-41 sank SHELTON on 3 October, and was able to return to Japan. In view of the above facts, and the fact that there is no attack listed in the Japanese report of antisubmarine attacks which could account for the loss of SEAWOLF, it is possible that SEAWOLF was sunk by friendly forces in an antisubmarine attack on October 3, 1944. It is also possible that she was lost due to an operational casualty or as a result of an unrecorded enemy attack.

During her first fourteen patrols, SEAWOLF sank 27 enemy ships, and damaged 13. This gave her total tonnage for ships sunk and damaged of 108,600 and 69,600, respectively. On the day the war began she started patrolling in the vicinity of northern Luzon, but returned with no damage to her credit. Her second patrol was the passage from Manila to Port Darwin and SEAWOLF did not meet any enemy ships. On her third patrol SEAWOLF transported a cargo of .50 caliber antiaircraft ammunition to Corregidor in January 1942 and then took passengers from there to Surabaya. Patrolling the vicinity of Lombok Straits for her fourth run, SEAWOLF sank a transport and damaged three light cruisers, two transports and a freighter. She received the Navy Unit Commendation for this patrol. Returning to the Philippine area for her fifth patrol, SEAWOLF sank a freighter. In the Makassar Strait for her sixth patrol, SEAWOLF sank a tanker and a freighter-transport, while she damaged another tanker.

On her seventh patrol, she made the passage from Fremantle to Pearl Harbor, patrolling at Davao Gulf, Palau and Yap enroute. She sank the Japanese freighter-transport SAGAMI MARU 40 miles inside the mouth of Davao Gulf on November 3, 1942. In addition, SEAWOLF sank a large freighter, a tanker, two sampans, and, on April 23, 1943, Patrol Boat number 39, a converted Japanese destroyer. Going to an area off the China coast north of Formosa for her ninth patrol, SEAWOLF sank a freighter-transport and a sampan, and damaged a destroyer escort.

SEAWOLF’s tenth patrol was in the East China Sea in August and September 1943; here she sank three large freighters and two sampans, while she damaged a third sampan. She conducted her eleventh patrol in the South China Sea and sank a large freighter-transport and an unidentified ship, and damaged a freighter. In the East China Sea north of Formosa, SEAWOLF sank a freighter-transport, three freighters and damaged three more freighters on her twelfth war patrol. SEAWOLF’s mission on her thirteenth patrol was a photographic reconnaissance of Palau. She also rescued two downed aviators during an U.S. carrier air raid there. On her fourteenth patrol, SEAWOLF delivered cargo to guerrilla activities in the Philippines.

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.