"THE ETERNAL PATROL"
Submarine veterans of World War II never consider their fellow submariners "lost". Rather, because they went down with their ship in the service of their country and are now entombed in their final resting place beneath the sea, they and their boats are forever on "Eternal Patrol".
U.S. submarines paid heavily for their successes in World War II. A total of 52 submarines were lost, with 374 officers and 3,131 enlisted men. These personnel losses represented 16% of the officer and 13% of the enlisted operational personnel. Of the 52 losses, two submarines, Dorado and R-12, were lost in the Atlantic, S-26 was sunk in a collision off Panama and S-28 was an operational loss in training at Pearl Harbor. The remaining 48 were lost either directly or indirectly as a result of enemy action, or due to stranding on reefs during combat operations.S-39, S-36, S-27 and Darter were lost as a result of such strandings. In all of these events, all personnel were rescued.
In the cases of losses due to enemy action, three officers and five men from the Flier were saved and all but four of the men from Sealion were saved. The remaining submarines were lost with all hands, though some personnel from Grenadier, Perch, Sculpin, Tang, two men from S-44 and one from Tullibee were repatriated at the end of hostilities, having been held as prisoners of war by the enemy. Four are said to have survived Robalo's sinking but they have not been recovered following the end of the war, and it is assumed that they perished as prisoners of the enemy.
The 52 submarines represented 18% of all submarines which saw combat duty. This loss of 18%, while high in comparison to the losses sustained by other types of ships of the Allied Forces is considered remarkably low when considered in relation to the results achieved, or when compared with the losses sustained by enemy submarine forces. The Germans, in World War I, lost 178 submarines of a total 272 boats in commission during that war, and in World War II, they lost between 700 and 800 submarines. With but meager results to show for their submarine effort, the Japanese in WWII lost 128 submarines and had but 58 remaining at the end of hostilities, many of the remaining 58 were non-operational.
The above text was transcribed from
U.S. SUBMARINE LOSSES
(NAVPERS 15784, 1949 Issue)
Fifty two (52) beautiful 1.75 inch hand-painted, brass coins. This set includes a coin for each submarine in the "Eternal Patrol" series (shown in order of date lost):