Identify why this was issued?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Bossdog, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. My girlfriends Grandfather (now deceased) was once in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War and was reportedly sunk twice.

    We are trying to find out more about what he did. Is there any way that we can get more information on the Merchant Navy convoys during the Second World War? I.e. what ships were involved, and maybe even a record of who sailed on those ships. ( I know the Merchant Navy is civvy but perhaps these things exist)?

    Also amongst his belongings we found what at first appeared to be a gold coin, however upon inspection i believe it to be some kind of medal(?). I have researched the ship, but wondered if this was a medal or a souvenir? There are no details on the edging of the coin, it is just blank. I wondered why this would be issued?

    Any information whatsoever (even links for the relevant websites) would be great, as i know nothing about shipping in the second world war.

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  2. He could have been given the medal/coin for service on board (unlikely as it was a US ship seemingly crewed by USCG) or when they picked him out of the drink.

    I would recommend you get in touch with the various societies (such as the one above). Before all links to such info are lost.

    Let's be fair, he could have won it in a drunken card game in port!!!!!

    Coins like these are pretty big in the US Forces. They are often minted and handed out for various reasons. Some have precedence over others and a sort of trumps game (drinking game :D ) has occured.
     
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    It does look like the sort of coins that are common in the US forces
    CO's often award them to men for something they have done and are in some units seen as an honour
    It is true that once awarded to be found in a bar without it could cost a few beers
     
  4. Usually called challenge coins i think? More likely he exchanged something for it. Used to be cap badges or tallys during the war.
     
  5. www.liverpoolwarmuseum.co.uk

    Try contacting these people, they may have some records of what ships were in what convoys etc as they have quite a lot of coverage of the Western Approaches.
     
  6. As an aside, i went to the western approaches museum in Liverpool, bit dissapointed, could have done more with it, just looks very jaded now.
     
  7. I was given one by the USNG unit I did an exchnage with.

    If you "coin" someone - challenge them to produce it - and they have it, you get the beers in. Should they NOT have it, they get them in

    A few years later I came across some of these blokes attached to my Bn; I managed to dig out my coin and challenge them; they nearly fell over.
     
  8. Septic ships and messes still produce these coins as gizzits.