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Launch and Christening Medals

What’s better than a lot of broken glass and spilled champagne? As a military medal collector I would say adding another medal to my collection. It is traditional when launching a ship to smash a bottle of bubbly against it’s hull. Fortunately it is also a tradition to issue souvenir medals on such occasions. I don’t know much about this category of medals other than they seem to be rare. I’m also not sure if the terms “Launching” and “Christening” mean the same thing when it comes to ships. In any event I will illustrate the only two such medals I have come across in my years of medal collecting. The first one is for the launch of the USS Tennessee in 1919. The Tenn. earned 10 battle stars during WWII and was sold for scrap 1959, the same year that construction was started on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk which in turn will be decommissioned in 2008.