March 20, 1945 - 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 Kete SS-369. 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 Kete...
Departing Guam on March 1, 1945, KETE (Lt. Cmdr. Edward Ackerman) headed for her second patrol in the vicinity of the Nansei Shoto (island chain). In addition to performing a normal patrol, KETE had orders to submit special weather reports, and to carry out rescue service during an air strike by carrier based planes.
On the night of March 10, 1945, KETE reported having sunk three medium sized freighters on the previous night. She reported on the night of March 14th that she had fired four torpedoes which missed a small enemy cable laying vessel, and that she had only three torpedoes remaining aboard. In view of the small number of torpedoes left, KETE was directed to depart her area on March 20th, and proceed to Pearl Harbor for refit, stopping at Midway en route for fuel. On March 19th, she acknowledged receipt of these orders. On March 20th she sent in a special weather report. This was the last message received from her. At normal cruising speed she should have arrived at Midway about March 31, 1945. When she was neither sighted nor heard from by April 16, 1945, she was reported as presumed lost.
Japanese information concerning antisubmarine attacks gained since the end of the war gives no positive evidence to what happened to KETE; none of the attacks on U.S. submarines occurring within the period from March 20th to March 31st 1945, was made in a position in which KETE was likely to be.
There were a few mine lines in the Nansei Shoto Chain but, since KETE was already east of the islands at the time of her last message on March 20th and was heading home, loss through a mine is considered highly improbable. It is known that a number of enemy submarines were in the area through which KETE was required to pass en route to Midway. RO-41 was sunk east of Okinawa by an U.S. destroyer on March 23, 1945, and two other Japanese submarines were sunk southeast of Okinawa near this date. Conditions attendant to KETE’s loss suggest a likelihood that one of these submarines might have torpedoed and sunk her and been unable to report the attack before being sunk. Thus, KETE must be considered probably a loss due to an unreported enemy attack. She is credited with sending three medium freighters, totaling 12,000 tons, to the bottom on this last patrol. During her first patrol, conducted in the East China Sea, KETE encountered no enemy targets.
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.