Yangtze Service Medal, Navy, “M.No.6034” (C.R. Bishop, USS Panay)

Product ID: A-7258
Country: United States
Condition: VF

Yangtze Service Medal, Navy, numbered “M.No.6034”. Issued to Charles R. Bishop for service aboard USS Panay.  With an original pay receipt for $85.00 from USS Rochester (21 March 1932), signed by Bishop (folded and mounted on cardstock). With photocopied service record data, including records of his service aboard USS Panay from September 1932, the issue of this medal in 1933, his departure from USS Panay in November 1934, and further service (including a number of disciplinary problems). Bishop’s obituary notes that he served in the Navy for eight years and was ashore in December 1937, when the Japanese bombed and sank Panay. After his discharge, Bishop returned to Tonawanda, New York, where he died in December 1996.

On 11 December 1937, the Panay took aboard a number of US Embassy staff members and other civilians. The following day, Japanese aircraft attacked the ship in spite of obvious markings as a US ship. Four were killed in the attack and 48 wounded. Two newsreel cameramen were aboard and were able to film the attack both from the ship itself and afterward from shore. The sinking of USS Panay is considered one of the first actions involving the United States in World War II.

Yangtze Service Medals are rarely found with attribution, especially to an iconic Yangtze Patrol gunboat like USS Panay.