March 26, 1944 - 80 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 Tullibee (SS284). 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 Tullibee...
On March 5, 1944, TULLIBEE, commanded by Cmdr. C.F. Brindupke, departed Pearl Harbor to start her fourth war patrol. She stopped at Midway to top off with fuel, and having left that place on March 14, she was not heard from again. The area assigned to TULLIBEE was an open sea area north of Palau, and she was to cooperate with surface forces in the first carrier strike on Palau.
TULLIBEE was to leave her area not later than April 24, 1944, and on that date a dispatch was sent directing her to proceed to Majuro for refit. She was expected at Majuro about 4 May, but instructions stated that a submarine unable to transmit would not go to Majuro, but to Midway. On May 6, 1944, Midway was alerted for a submarine returning without transmission facilities, but the lookout was not rewarded and TULLIBEE was presumed lost on May 15, 1944.
The following story of TULLIBEE’s loss is taken from a statement made by the lone survivor, C.W. Kuykendall, GM2c. He reports that the boat arrived on station, March 25, and on the night of March 26 radar contact was found to be on a convoy consisting of a large troop and cargo ship, two medium sized freighters, two escort vessels and a large destroyer.
Having solved the convoy’s speed and course, TULLIBEE made several surface runs on the large transport, but held fire, being unable to see her due to squally weather. The escorts had detected the submarine’s presence, and dropped 15 to 20 depth charges. The submarine came in to 3,000 yards, still unable to see the target, and fired two bow tubes. A minute or two later a terrific concussion shook the boat, and Kuykendall, who had been on the bridge, soon found himself struggling in the water. Since range and bearing of escorts were known, the survivor states that he is sure the explosion was the result of a circular run of one of TULLIBEE’s torpedoes.
There were shouting men in the water when Kuykendall first regained consciousness after the blast, but after about ten minutes everything was silent, and he never again saw or heard any of the other TULLIBEE men. At 1000 on March 27, an escort vessel located the swimming man, and after firing on him with machine guns, came in and picked him up. He learned here that the transport they had fired at had sunk.
The story of his captivity is much the same as the stories of survivors of GRENADIER, SCULPIN, TANG, PERCH and other U.S. submarines. He was questioned assiduously by English speaking officers, and beaten when he refused to give any more information than international law required. In April 1944, he was taken to Ofuna Naval Interrogation Camp, where he stayed until September 30th. From that date until rescue on September 4, 1945, he was forced to work in the copper mines of Ashio.
This submarine began her career in the Submarine Force in July 1943, with a patrol in the western Caroline Islands. In this patrol she sank one freighter and damaged another. Her second patrol was in the area south of Formosa off the China coast; here she sank a transport ship and damaged a large tanker and another transport. Son her third patrol, in the Marianas area, TULLIBEE sank a small freighter. This gave TULLIBEE a total of three ships sunk, totaling 15,500 tons, and three damaged for 22,000 tons.
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.