Most recently though, something more personal surfaced. A little over a week ago I noticed a "commemorative" piece with "USS STRONG" on the front. On the back are the date of the keel being laid, the launch date and commissioning date, and "SS 467". The same seller had one similar from the USS NICHOLAS, and on the front it was personalized with the name "Duke". Very curious, I emailed the seller and found that both had come from an estate sale. I ended up buying the STRONG piece and got it in the mail today. My friend Andy bought the NICHOLAS piece, they were sister ships berthed around the same time from Bath Iron Works and in the same destroyer squadron. What I'd like to know, is who got these types of mementos? My assumption is they gave them to plank owners, the first men on the ship. Either way, having this most personal of items from the ship, something that was in the pocket of a man who served on STRONG and survived to carry it off with him - it's priceless.
Below I'm including photographs. If there is anyone out there who can advise or tell me a little more about the history of items such as this, please send me a message via the STRONG Contacts page.
PS - Stephen Harding interview on WAAM Radio Sunday August 21st at 5:00 EST. Click HERE for station link.