US Coins

Popular Indianapolis medal is now on ‘back order’

The 3-inch bronze duplicate version of the congressional gold medal honoring the crew of the USS ‘Indianapolis’ is currently on back order.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

When was the last time you saw a U.S. Mint medal in back order?

Because of its popularity, the 3-inch bronze duplicate version of the congressional gold medal commemorating the World War II cruiser USS Indianapolis is currently out of stock. The medals are offered at $39.95 each.

Customers may still place orders on the Mint’s website for the 3-inch medals while the Philadelphia Mint strikes additional medals to replenish the depleted inventory.

The 1.5-inch bronze duplicate medal is in stock and can be ordered at $6.95 each.

The Indianapolis had successfully delivered components to the Pacific island of Tinian for the atomic bomb known as “Little Boy.” That was the code name for the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

It was the first nuclear weapon used in warfare and was dropped by the Boeing B-29 Enola Gay piloted by Col. Paul W. Tibbets Jr., commander of the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces, and Capt. Robert A. Lewis.

The unescorted heavy cruiser Indianapolis was traveling to rejoin other naval forces when it was attacked. Of 1,195 crew members, roughly 900 made it into the water, but only 316 ultimately survived the ordeal. The others perished from injuries incurred during the torpedo attack, four days in the open sea, and the relentless onslaught of sharks. Survivors were located accidentally by Lt. Wilbur Gwinn who was piloting a PV-1 Ventura bomber.

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