October 24, 1944 -- 87 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 Shark II SS-314. 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 Shark II SS-314...
Joining SEADRAGON and BLACKFISH at Pearl Harbor, the second SHARK (Cmdr. E.N. Blakely) left that place on September 23, 1944, and proceeded to Saipan to begin her third war patrol. The three vessels left the latter island on October 3rd to conduct a coordinated attack group, called Blakely’s Behemoths.
On October 22nd, SHARK reported having contacted four large enemy vessels. She still had her full load of torpedoes aboard, so had not made an attack. SHARK addressed no further messages to bases, but on October 24th, SEADRAGON received a message from her stating that she had made radar contact with a single freighter, and that she was going in to attack. This was the last message received from SHARK.
However, on November 13, 1944, a dispatch originated by Commander Naval Unit, Fourteenth Air Force, stated that a Japanese ship en route from Manila to Japan with 1800 American prisoners of war had been sunk on October 24th by an American submarine in a torpedo attack. No other submarine reported the attack, and since SHARK had given SEADRAGON a contact report only a few hours before the sinking, and could not be raised by radio after it, it can only be assumed that SHARK made the attack described, and perished during or after it.
Five prisoners who survived and subsequently reached China stated that conditions on the prison ship were so intolerable that the prisoners prayed for deliverance from their misery by a torpedo bomb. Because many prisoners of war had been rescued from the water by submarines after sinking vessels in which they were being transported, U.S. submarines had been instructed to search for Allied survivors in the vicinity of all sinkings of Empire-bound Japanese ships. SHARK may well have been sunk trying to rescue American prisoners of war. All attempts to contact SHARK by radio failed and on November 27th she was reported as presumed lost.
A report from the Japanese received after the close of war on antisubmarine attacks records the attack made by SHARK on October 24, 1944. Depth charges were dropped 17 times, and the enemy reports having seen “bubbles, and heavy oil, clothes, cork, etc.” Several American submarines report having been attacked on this date near the position given, but in view of the fact that none reported the attack on the convoy cited above, this attack is considered the most probable cause of SHARK’s loss.
SHARK sank five ships, totaling 32,200 tons and damaged two, for 9,900 tons prior to her last patrol. Her first patrol was in the area west of the Marianas. SHARK sank two freighters, a transport and a large tanker, and damaged a freighter. In her second patrol in the Bonins, SHARK sank a medium freighter.
SHARK is the second U.S. Submarine to bear the name in WWII – An earlier SHARK (SS-174) carried the name part of her life and was also lost.
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.