January 12, 1945 - 89 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 Swordfish SS-193. 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 Swordfish...
SWORDFISH, under Cmdr. K.E. Montross, left Pearl Harbor on December 22, 1944, to carry on her thirteenth patrol in the vicinity of Nansei Shoto. She topped off with fuel at Midway on December 26th and left that day for her area. In addition to her regular patrol, SWORDFISH was to conduct photographic reconnaissance of Okinawa, for preparation of the Okinawa Campaign.
On January 2nd, SWORDFISH was ordered to delay carrying out her assigned tasks in order to keep her clear of the Nansei Shoto area until completion of carrier based air strikes which were scheduled. She was directed to patrol the general vicinity until further orders were received. In the last communication received from SWORDFISH, she acknowledged receipt of these orders on January 3rd.
On January 9, 1945, SWORDFISH was directed to proceed to the vicinity of Okinawa to carry out her special mission. It was estimated that the task would not take more than seven days after arrival on station, which she should have reached on January 11th. Upon completion of her mission, SWORDFISH was to proceed to Saipan, or to Midway if she was unable to transmit by radio. Since neither place had seen her by 15 February, and repeated attempts to raise her by radio had failed, she was reported as presumed lost on that date.
In the report of her loss, mention was made that KETE, which at the time was patrolling the vicinity of Okinawa, reported that on the morning of January 12th she contacted a submarine by radar. It was believed that contact was with SWORDFISH. Four hours later KETE heard heavy depth charging from this area, and it was believed that this attack might have been the cause of SWORDFISH’s loss.
Japanese information on antisubmarine attacks does not mention the attack heard by KETE on January 12, and records no attacks in which SWORDFISH is likely to have been the victim. However, it is now known that there were many mines planted around Okinawa, since the Japanese were expecting al Allied invasion of that Island. The majority of the mines were planted close in. It is considered about equally likely that SWORDFISH was sunk by depth charge attack before she reached Okinawa for her special mission or that she was lost to a mine at that place.
SWORDFISH, in the twelve patrols before her fatal thirteenth, sank twenty-on ships, amounting to 113,100 tons, and damaged an additional eight, totaling 45,800 tons. Her first patrol began the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was conducted west of the Philippines. SWORDFISH sank four freighters, varying from 3,900 tons to 9,400 tons, and damaged a fifth. At the time, this was the most successful patrol in the war. She conducted the second patrol in the lesser Philippine group and among the small islands between Celebes and New Guinea. Here she sank three medium freighters and a tanker. She also evacuated President Quezon, his family, Vice President Osmena, Chief Justice Santos, and three officers in the Philippine Army from Corregidor and took them to Panay, where they boarded a motor tender. SWORDFISH returned to Manila Bay and evacuated eleven more Philippine officials. SWORDFISH’s primary mission on her third patrol was to deliver 40 tons of supplies to the beleaguered Corregidor. However, on April 10, 1942 ComSubAF told SWORDFISH to neglect her special mission and patrol offensively. SWORDFISH made no attacks on this patrol, but did perform reconnaissance of several islands.
The South China Sea area was the scene of this ship’s fourth patrol, and she sank a freighter and a tanker, while she damaged two freighters. She returned to the South China Sea for her fifth patrol, but did no damage to the enemy. SWORDFISH went to the area west of Bouganville for her sixth patrol, and sank a medium freighter and damaged a second freighter. She went again to the Solomons for her seventh patrol and sank a freighter. On her eighth patrol SWORDFISH covered the Palau-Truk-Rabaul areas during August and September 1943. Here she sank a freighter and a transport, while damaging a freighter-transport. Her ninth patrol was cut short by material defects. On her tenth patrol, in the same area as her ninth, she sank a freighter-transport, and two medium freighters.
This ship covered the Marianas on her eleventh patrol; she damaged two freighters. On her twelfth patrol, conducted in the Bonins, she sank a freighter and two small trawlers, while she damaged SWORDFISH sank the Japanese destroyer MATSUKAZE in a night submerged attack as the enemy ship was bearing down for an attack. SWORDFISH was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for the period of her first, second and fourth patrols
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.