Launched in February of 1931, The SS President Coolidge was built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co in Newport News, Virginia USA. Prior to World War II, she was operated by the American President Lines as a luxury liner providing trans-pacific passage and commercial service. Passengers had a luxurious experience on the ship with spacious staterooms and lounges, private telephones, two saltwater swimming pools, a barbers shop, beauty salon, gymnasium and soda fountain. In 1941, as war time activities increased, the US War Department began to use the President Coolidge for occasional voyages to Honolulu and Manila but it wasn't until after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1941 that she was fully commissioned as a transport ship for reinforcing garrisons in the Pacific. She was stripped of her finery, painted gun-metal gray and by early 1942; the SS President Coolidge had begun her days servicing the South West Pacific. As a troop carrier, she was never intended to see any action. In her first few months of service, her ports of call included Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, Bora Bora, and Suva. On October 6, she set sail from her home port of San Francisco, California for New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo. On October 26, 1942, the SS Coolidge, fearing Japanese submarines and unaware of the mine fields, attempted to enter the harbor through the largest and most obvious channel, a friendly mine struck the ship at the engine room and moments later, a second mine hit her near the stern.
The captain, knowing that he was going to lose the ship, ran her aground and ordered troops to abandon ship. Not believing the ship would sink, troops were told to leave all of their belongings behind under the impression that they would conduct salvage operations over the next few days.
Over the course of the next 90 minutes, 4,998 men got safely off of the wreck and to shore before she listed too heavily on her side, sank, and slid down the slope into the channel. She now rests on her port side with her bow at a depth of 66 ft (20 meters) and her stern at 230 ft (70 meters). This unique card provides detailed depiction of the SS President Coolidge Wreck. Each waterproof card is printed on both sides, made of durable PVC plastic and is designed to be taken on the dive. They are also 3-hole punched to fit in standard log books. Card measures (W x L) 5.5" x 8.5" (14cm x 21.6cm) and makes a great gift idea.