An essential element of the U.S. Navy’s defense of freedom from its commissioning in 1961 to its decommissioning in 1991, the USS Sampson (DDG-10) participated in the most advanced squadron of the Navy at a time when U.S. ships held the line against communist aggression. This unique photo challenge coin, featuring namesake Rear Admiral William Thomas Sampson and the guided missile destroyer under full steam, will be the ideal gift or reminder for those who served aboard her, or collectible for those who seek to capture all Naval vessels for their collection.
The third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Sampson, DDG-10 was a Charles F. Adams-class vessel which served to counter Cuba and defend the Caribbean from homeports in Norfolk, VA, Charleston, SC, and Mayport, FL; and NATO and Middle Eastern allies in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf from its Greek homeport during its three decades of intrepid service; there she twice encountered and stood the line against Soviet vessels. She also sailed as part of groups led by carriers Wasp, America, John F. Kennedy, and Saratoga; and operated in support of Operation Desert Shield in her final guided missile deployment.
The ship’s namesake, William T. Sampson, achieved fame for victory in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba in the Spanish-American War – a conquest which he described as “a Fourth of July present” for the nation.
This challenge coin is minted in solid bronze. Its obverse bears a photograph of the USS Sampson underway, with a bust of Admiral Sampson, protected by a clear epoxy dome. The reverse features the ship’s international radio call sign in flag format (November Zulu X-Ray Foxtrot) and the shield of DDG-10 with its motto, “Fortes Fortuna Juvat,” (Latin for “Fortune Favors the Brave”).