page contents

USS Herring Challenge Coin

SS-233 Coin
SS-233 Coin
Item# coin-ss-233
Display Options:  Velveteen Gift Bag: 

Product Description

June 1, 1944 - 83 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 Herring SS-233. 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 Herring...

HERRING, under Lt. Cmdr. D. Zabriskie, Jr., left Pearl Harbor on May 16, 1944 to conduct her eighth patrol in the Kurkle Islands. On May 21st she topped off with fuel at Midway and departed for the Kurile region. No word was received from HERRING direct after her departure from Midway, but she did accomplish a rendezvous with BARB on May 21, 1944. These two boats were to patrol the Kurile Islands area cooperatively, and at the rendezvous, as recorded in BARB’s report of her eighth war patrol, the areas for which each was to be responsible were delineated. A few hours after leaving HWERRING early on the afternoon of May 31st, BARB made contact with two Japanese merchantmen. While developing the contacts BARB heard distant depth charging, which she took as an indication that HERRING was making an attack.

Later that evening BARB picked up a prisoner who revealed that HERING had sunk the escort vessel of the convoy BARB had been attacking. The ship sunk was ISHIGAKI, a new type DE built in 1942, and it was sunk with one torpedo hit. The sinking resulted in the scattering of the three-ship convoy and two ships, which subsequently passed near BARB, were sunk by her. Post-war information reveals that HERRING sank the third merchantman of the convoy.

On June 3, 1944 orders were sent to BARB and HERRING directing them to stay outside of a restricted area in which friendly surface ships would be operating during the Marianas Campaign. A receipt was required for this message, but none was heard from HERRING. BARB was unable to contact her after May 31st. Consequently on June 27th, Midway was directed to post a sharp lookout for HERRING, which might be returning without ability to transmit by radio, and was expected by July 3rd or 4th. When she had not appeared by July 13, 1944, HERRING was reported as presumed lost.

Japanese information indicates that HERRING was sunk on June 1, 1944, two kilometers south of Point Tagan on Matsuwa Island in the Kurlies. The report sates that two merchant ships, HIBURI MARU and IWAKI MARU, were sunk by American torpedoes while at anchor at Matsuwa. In a counterattack, a shore battery scored two direct hits on the conning tower, and “bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles.” The position of this attack was around 150 miles from the position where HERRING met BARB: the attack occurred on the day after the BARB picked up her prisoner. BARB and HERRING were the only U.S. submarines in the area at the time and BARB did not make attacks reported by BARB and by the Japanese, HERRING has been credited with four ships and 13,202 tons sunk for her last patrol.

For her first seven patrols, HERRING sank nine ships, totaling 45,200 tons, and damaged two, totaling an additional 8,400 tons. Her first four patrols were in the Atlantic, the first three off the coast of Spain, and the fourth near Iceland. The first netted an Axis freighter, while on the second HERRING saw no enemy ships. Her third patrol saw her sink Nazi U-163 and her fourth was again unproductive of enemy targets. Her fifth patrol was the passage from the United Kingdom, where she had been based for her Atlantic patrols, to New London, Conn., thence to Pearl Harbor. She patrolled the East China Sea on her sixth war run, and sank two large transports, a freighter, and a small escort type vessel. HERRING’s seventh patrol was in the area just south of the Japanese home islands; here she damaged a destroyer type vessel.

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.