Question by Nick J: What is the tradition of the challange coin in the United States navy?
I have a minor question.

I was asked by an individual as to where abouts the Coin Challenge tradition that is so prevalent in the Army and Air Force today got it's humble beginning. I shot over to google to get a quick answer. The answer I received from Wikipedia was that a wealthy Lieutenant from WWI purchased them for his unit of pilots. It goes on to state that when one of the pilots was shot down. He had no identification as he had just escaped from German captivity (recovered post crash) and avoided being executed by the French Army by the grace of someone recognizing it's significance.

Apparently, according to this individual, this statement is correct, HOWEVER, there is some sort of UNITED STATES NAVY tradition involving coins that predates these series of events.

I served in the Navy for four years and have heard of some weird traditions (i.e. ear ring if you are the lone survivor of a sunken ship), but never anything about the origination of the usage of coins (especially challenge coins) onboard ship.

Any naval history buffs (esp. US Navy history) have any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Best answer:

Answer by Ello Guvna
Never heard of a gold coin, I heard of a gold ear ring so in case your ship sank when you washed up on shore hopefully the person who finds your body would use some of the money from selling the ear ring to give you a proper burial. It might be similar to that.

Give your answer to this question below!
[wprebay kw="air+force+challenge+coins" num="3" ebcat="1"]
[wprebay kw="air+force+challenge+coins" num="4" ebcat="1"]
[wprebay kw="air+force+challenge+coins" num="5" ebcat="1"]

2 Responses to “What is The Tradition of The Challange Coin in The United States Navy”
  1. F0908 says:

    Challenge coins can refer to two things

    1), everyone has a coin, you challenge someone to produce the coin, if they dont have it on them (forgotten on lost) they buy the drinks.

    2)Officers have coins which they distribute amoungst those who they have rubbed shoulders with. Therefore, if youve met high ranking officers, you will have a good coin. You challenge those around you to produce their coins, and the highest ranking coin wins, and is, again, bought a drink.

    The first is more prevelent in the army, the second the navy.