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USS Scorpion Challenge Coin

SS-278 Coin
SS-278 Coin
Item# coin-ss-278
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Product Description

January 5, 1944 - 77 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 Scorpion SS 278. 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 Scorpion...

Departing Pearl Harbor on 29 December 1943, SCORPION (Cmdr. M.G. Schmidt) stopped at Midway to top off with fuel, and left that place on 3 January 1944 to conduct her fourth war patrol. Her assigned area was in the northern East China and Yellow Seas.

On the morning of 5 January, SCORPION reported that one of her crew had sustained a fracture of the upper arm and requested a rendezvous with HERRING (SS-233) which was returning from patrol and was near her. The rendezvous was accomplished on the afternoon of 5 January, but heavy seas prevented transfer of the injured man to HERRING. The latter reported this fact on 6 January, and stated “SCORPION reports case under control.” SCORPION was never seen or heard from again after her departure from the rendezvous. On 16 February 1944, STEELHEAD and SCORPION were warned that they were close together, and that an enemy submarine was in the vicinity.

When no report was received from her by 24 February 2944, Midway was directed to keep a careful watch for her, and SCORPION was directed to make a transmission. Neither of these measures proved fruitful, and SCORPION was reported on 6 March 1944 as presumed lost.

No information has been received from the Japanese that indicates SCORPION’s loss was the result of enemy antisubmarine tactics. There were, however, several mine lines across the entrance to the Yellow Sea. The presence of these mine lines and the “restricted area” bounding them were discovered from captured Japanese Notices to Mariners at much later date. In the meantime several submarines had made patrols in this area, crossing and re-crossing the mine lines without incident, and coming safely home. It is probable that these mine lines were very thin, offering only about a 10 percent threat to submarines at maximum, and steadily decreasing in effectiveness with the passage of time. SCORPION was lost soon after these mines were laid, or at a time when they presumably offered the greatest threat. She could have been an operational casualty, but her area consists of water shallow enough so that it might be expected that some men would have survived. Since we know of no survivors, the most reasonable assumptions that she hit a mine.

In her first three patrols, SCORPION sank ten ships, for a total of 24,000 tons, and damaged two more, for 16,000 tons. Her first war patrol was in the approaches to Tokyo in April 1943. Here she sank two freighters, four sampans and two patrol craft. In addition, she damaged a freighter. On her second patrol, conducted in the Yellow Sea, she sank two freighters. Her third patrol was made in the Mariana Islands, and resulted in damage to a tanker.

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.