A beautiful 1.75 inch hand-painted, 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 S-26 SS-131. 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."
S-26, led by LCDR E.C. Hawk, was lost on January 24, 1942, in the Gulf of Panama about 14 miles west of San Jose Light in three hundred feet of water. There were three survivors, two officers, one of whom was the Commanding Officer, and one enlisted man. These people were on the bridge at the time of the collision; the fourth person on the bridge, an enlisted man, was lost.
S-26 was proceeding from Balboa, C.Z. to its patrol station in company with S-21, S-29 and S-44 and an escort vessel, PC-460, at the time of the disaster. At 2210 the escort vessel sent a visual message to the submarines that she was leaving the formation and that they could proceed with the duty assigned. S-21 was the only submarine to receive this message. Shortly after that PC-460 struck S-26 on the starboard side of the torpedo room and the submarine sank within a few seconds.
Salvage operations were started immediately under Captain T.J. Doyle, USN, Commander Submarine Squadron Three and Submarine Base, Coco Solo, Canal Zone, and attempts at rescue were made, but without success. The submarine was not raised. She had previously made one war patrol but had inflicted no damage on the enemy.
UPDATE: FOUND SEPTEMBER 2014
Would make an excellent addition to your collection or for your favorite sailor! Collect the entire series!