June 12, 1943 -- 42 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 R-12 (SS 89). 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 R-12 (SS 89)...
R-12 (LCDR E. E. Shelby) was lost between 12:20 and 12:25 PM on June 12, 1943 in six hundred feet of water, with the loss of forty two lives. The personnel on the bridge, two officers, including the Commanding Officer, and three enlisted men, were the only survivors. Those missing include four U.S. Naval officers, and thirty-six U.S. Naval enlisted men.
At the time of the accident R-12 was engaged in normal operations off Key West, Florida, being underway to take up her position for a torpedo practice approach. She was rigged for diving (except main induction was open and batteries were ventilating into the engine room) and riding the vents. The Commanding Officer was on the bridge in the act of turning the Officer of the Deck watch over to another officer when the collision alarm was sounded from below and the report that the forward battery compartment was flooding was passed to the bridge. Although the Commanding Officer gave immediate orders to blow main ballast and close the hatches, the ship sank in an estimated fifteen seconds from the time the alarm was sounded until the bridge was completely under water.
It was the opinion of the Court of Inquiry that the cause of the loss of R-12 was unknown, but probably was caused by the rapid flooding of the forward part of the ship through a torpedo tube.
UPDATE: The wreck of USS R-12 (SS-89) was found in 600 feet of water off Key West, Florida, by an exploration team led by Tim Taylor aboard the expedition vessel "RV Tiburon"
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.