With this stunning fine silver coin, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorates the crucial role played by the 12,000 men and women who served throughout the Second World War in Canada’s Merchant Navy. From the first day of the war to its last, these mariners risked their lives during the Battle of the Atlantic to transport vital supplies to the Allied cause, despite the constant enemy threat from above and below.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Yves Bérubé features an impeccable combination of expert engraving and beautiful finishes and depicts the dangerous conditions endured by trans-Atlantic ships during the Battle of the Atlantic between 1939 and 1945. It is a calm evening on July 11, 1943; in the foreground, the ocean steamer SS Duchess of York (left) is featured prominently, with a thick plume of steam billowing from its funnels. Requisitioned as a troopship during the war, the large vessel is part of the convoy dubbed "Faith," which has been spotted by enemy aircraft off the coast of Spain. Two Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Kondors have begun their high-level bombardment, with one bomb hitting the water starboard side off the ship's bow, where detailed engraving adds movement through the motion of the water's surface. One of the convoy's escort ships, the Tribal-class destroyer HMCS Iroquois (right), has unleashed anti-aircraft fire but it is all in vain against this airborne attack. While SS Duchess of York and 34 of its crew would be added to the Allied casualties suffered during the Second World War's Battle of the Atlantic, 628 of its survivors would be rescued and transported to safety by Iroquois.
A beautiful collectible for commemorators, and a prestigious addition to any Canadian military- or history-themed collection.