USS Rodney M Davis Challenge Coin
Though her turbines are hushed and cold, and her decks are silent and hollow, the memories of the USS Rodney M Davis (FFG-60) resound within every one of her crew. After 28 years of steadfast service, the mighty frigate will weigh anchor no more. Pay your respects and remembrances to the USS Rodney M Davis and all her courageous crew with this remarkable challenge coin.
The ship took its name from a fearless Marine who sacrificed his life to save his platoon in the Vietnam War. While operating a search-and-clear mission in the Quang Nam province, Sgt. Rodney M Davis’ men were bombarded by massive enemy forces. Cornered in a trench by heavy fire and mortars, Sgt. Davis persisted with return fire while reassuring his men. When the enemy tossed a grenade into the trench, he swiftly threw himself upon it, saving the lives of his fellow Marines. For his fearless act, Sgt. Rodney M Davis posthumously received the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award.
From 1987 to 2015, the USS Rodney M. Davis and its crew of Bold Runners embodied the selflessness and gallantry of the ship’s namesake. The FFG-60 spent the first half of its career homeported in Yokosuka, Japan as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15. During those years the ship carried its crew to operations in the western Pacific, Arabian Gulf, and the Red Sea. Reassignment to Destroyer Squadron 9 made Everett, WA the USS RDM’s homeport for the latter years of her service. The ship launched for six more deployments, two of which would make maritime history.
Reassignment to Destroyer Squadron 9 made Everett, WA the USS RDM’s homeport for the latter years of her service.
In 2001, the USS Rodney M. Davis participated in Maritime’s largest cocaine seizure. The captured Belizean fishing vessel was stowing a whopping 26,931 pounds of cocaine onboard. Then, in 2007, the ship and crew aided the Coast Guard in the first liquid cocaine appropriation in maritime history. Aboard the Emperador out of Ecuador, they seized 3,850 gallons of the illicit liquid drug.
During her last task at sea for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multi-national training op, the ship forged 37,000 nautical in six months, porting in seven countries. This trip her crew initiated her crew into Neptune’s Ancient Order of the Deep by crossing the equator to become Trusty Shellbacks.
No matter what mission or operation the ship and crew performed, they performed it with valor, and if necessary, with arms. And though the ship may no longer sail the seas, her crew still carries with them the fidelity and brotherhood they shared aboard the USS Rodney M. Davis. Now her crew can carry an embodiment of those sentiments with this coin.
Minted in antique bronze and highlighted with bold enamel, this challenge coins honors the USS Rodney M. Davis and all her crew of 28 years. The obverse displays the frigate slicing through the water surrounded by images representing her two homeports. The reverse depicts the ship’s crest including its motto, “BY VALOR AND ARMS.” Encircling the crest are the commissioning and decommissioning dates.