CFA 19/SEP/19-10

U.S. Mint
Congressional Gold Medal honoring the crew of the USS Indianapolis
Design for gold medal with bronze duplicates
Review Type


Dear Mr. Ryder:

In its meeting of 19 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a series of alternative designs for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the crew of the USS Indianapolis, which was sunk in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The Commission members present provided the following recommendations and comments.

Consistent with the preferences of the veterans’ representatives and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission members supported obverse alternatives #7 and #9, and reverse alternatives #5 and #7. They supported the two pairings presented—obverse #7 with reverse #7, or obverse #9 with reverse #5—and also suggested a pairing of obverse #7 with reverse #5. For obverse #7, they cited the border of rivets and the powerful depiction of the ship as strong features, and for reverse #7, they questioned the complexity of having two water levels within the composition. For reverse #5, they cited the searchlight beam as a dramatic and poetic image; they suggested placing the horizon line higher in the composition to show more ocean, adding more texture to this spare design.

As a quorum was not present for the review of this submission, these recommendations will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission’s meeting of 17 October. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

David Ryder, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220