United States Asiatic Fleet Medal – USS Panay rescue?

This unofficial medal was issued in the 1930s as a generic reward for the numerous athletic competitions that were held by the fleet. I’ve seen them for rowing, sailing, boxing, etc. This example is a bit different because it’s nicely engraved on the reverse with a dragon motif, which I’ve never seen before. Also, it appears to be named to a Royal Navy sailor. At first I though this might be an award to the winner of an inter-service competition. However, after a bit of online research, I found out that the HMS Bee was one of the first ships to go to the aid of the survivors or the USS Panay after it was bombed and sunk by the Japanese in 1937.

Is it possible that this medal was given to the crew of the “Bee” as an expression of thanks for their role in rescuing the survivors of the Panay? Does any reader happen to have a reference that would confirm this theory? If this is indeed why the medal was issued, it’s probably documented in an obscure newspaper or journal somewhere, but so far I haven’t been able to locate such documentation. Are there muster rolls for the “Bee” from late 1937 that would confirm that “J. Dunn” was a member of the crew? Any help with this would be much appreciated.


 


Other examples of the Asiatic Fleet Medal






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