In 2018, the United States Mint will release World War I silver medals in conjunction with silver dollars commemorating the centennial of America’s involvement in the war. The medals will celebrate the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. One of them will honor the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard Recommendations
For the Coast Guard Silver Medal, the U.S. Mint presented 12 designs for consideration with 6 obverses and 6 reverses. The CFA and CCAC preferred the same reverse design but recommended two different obverses.
The CFA’s obverse recommendation was CGD-O-02. The design shows an officer with a pair of binoculars keeping a close watch on the horizon while a second Coast Guardsman looks on. In a change, members suggested replacing the design’s small emblem with a compass design.
Design CGD-O-04 was selected by the CCAC. It depicts a lifeboat from the cutter Seneca heading out in heavy seas toward the torpedoed steamship Wellington.
The CFA’s and CCAC’s recommended reverse, CGD-R-04, depicts the World War I-era Coast Guard emblem.
For their selected designs, the CCAC suggested moving much of the medal’s text from the obverse to the reverse.
Coast Guard Medal Design Candidates
All of the Coast Guard medal obverse candidates and U.S. Mint descriptions of them follow.
CGD-O-01 shows a Coast Guardsman with his Springfield 1903 rifle looking out across the Atlantic. He is instructed and inspired by Liberty pointing the way to destiny and duty, toward the theaters of WWI where he will fight and protect the principles of the free world. Liberty holds the Coast Guard emblem, as though it were a shield.
CGD-O-01A depicts a version of Liberty and a Coast Guardsman with the cutter Tampa silhouetted on the horizon.
CGD-O-02 depicts an officer with a pair of binoculars keeping a close watch on the horizon while a second Coast Guardsman looks on. The Coast Guard cutter Tampa, silhouetted in the background, symbolizes the numerous convoy missions that the Coast Guard will be summoned to conduct during the course of the war.
CGD-O-03 and CGD-O-03A depict the Coast Guard cutter Tampa escorting two merchant ships as part of a large convoy. The design includes the additional inscription "REMEMBER THE TAMPA" as an homage to the later sinking of the cutter by a German U-boat. 115 men perished, making it the single largest wartime loss of life in combat for naval operations. Version 03A includes a porthole treatment around the edge.
CGD-O-04 depicts a lifeboat from the cutter Seneca heading out in heavy seas toward the torpedoed steamship Wellington. The sailors have sighted men in the water and are attempting a rescue immediately.
The Coast Guard medal reverse candidates and U.S. Mint descriptions of them follow.
CGD-R-01 and CGD-R-01A depict the Coast Guard cutter Tampa, which was torpedoed after leaving escort duty. The high and menacing seas indicate the great loss of life. The inscriptions "SEMPER PARATUS" and "REMEMBER THE TAMPA" surround the design. Version 01A includes the Coast Guard emblem and arcs ‘SEMPER PARATUS" at the bottom.
CGD-R-02 depicts the Seneca on a convoy mission. Under difficult storm conditions, the crew of the Seneca heroically rescued men from the SS Wellington, which had been torpedoed by a German U-boat on September 16, 1918. Inscriptions include "USCG SENECA," RESCUE OF THE WELLINGTON," and the date "9-16-1918."
CGD-R-03 and CGD-R-03A depicts the Coast Guard cutter Seneca headed to the rescue of men from the SS Wellington, a British steamship torpedoed by a German U-boat. Seneca’s rescue crew is navigating a lifeboat toward the Wellington in rough waters. Version 03A includes a porthole treatment around the edge.
CGD-R-04 depicts the World War I-era Coast Guard emblem.
2018 World War I Armed Forces Silver Medals
Artists for the U.S. Mint created over 60 design candidates for the five 2018 World War I Armed Forces Silver Medals. The four other medals will honor the Army (see Army medal designs), Navy (see Navy medal designs), Air Service (see Air Service medal designs) and Marines (see Marines medal designs).
In addition, there is the chance for another as the CCAC asked for a sixth medal to honor women whom served during the war.