January 10, 1943 -- 102 Men Lost
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 Argonaut (SS 166). 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 Argonaut (SS 166)...
While operating in the area southeast of New Britain between 5 degrees and 50 east during her third patrol, ARGONAUT (Lt. Cmdr. J.R. Pierce) intercepted a Japanese convoy returning to Rabaul from Lae, on 10 January 1943. An U.S. Army plane, which was out of bombs, saw one destroyer hit by a torpedo, saw the explosion of two other destroyers, and reported other vessels in the group.
After a severe depth charge attack ARGONAUT was forced to surface and the destroyers, according to the plane’s report, circled and pumped shells into her bow, which was sticking up at a considerable angle. This action took place in 5 degrees to 40 ‘S, 152 degrees to 02 ‘E, and further efforts to contact ARGONAUT by radio were fruitless. It is quite certain, then, that ARGONAUT met her end in this action. Japanese reports made available since the end of the war record a depth charge attack followed by artillery fire, at which time the “destroyed top of the sub floated.”
ARGONAUT’s first patrol near Midway had resulted in no damage to enemy ships, but her second was a most successful one. It was conducted following a complete modernization at Mare Island. Her mission had been to cooperate with NAUTILUS in transporting 252 Marine officers and men to Makin Island for a diversionary raid against enemy shore installations. In the early morning of 17 August 1942, the raiders were debarked in boats. After nearly two days ashore, the Marines returned, and the submarines transported them back to Pearl Harbor, ARGONAUT arriving on 26 August.
On the basis of the report given by the Army flier who witnessed the attack in which ARGONAUT perished, the ship was credited with having damaged one Japanese destroyer on her last patrol.
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.