Obverse Design

In the center of this challenge coin is a sunken circle. In the circle a ship is entering the Panama Canal from the Pacfic side, going under the Bridge of the Americas (Ferry Thatcher Bridge). On our left on the shore is a man on a horse carrying a flag. Overhead is an airplane (four engines, propeller driven).

The sunken center circle gives the effect of a broad rim. In incuse letters along the upper edge of the medal it says "24TH MAINTENANCE SQUADRON". Along the bottom edge of the medal in incuse letters it says "ROUGH RIDERS". Curving along the left rim of the medal between the legends is a stretched out curved American flag. On the right rim of the medal between the legends is a stretched out curved flag of Panama. The coin has a plain and smooth background (except for the left shore of the Canal which is textured).

Reverse Design

The medal has large letter "Q" filling most of the available space. Across the "Q" near the bottom is a blank banner where the name of the recipient could be engraved. Above the banner inside the "Q" in four lines are the legends "SUPPORTING", "AIRPOWER", "FOR THE", "AMERICAS". Outside the "Q" curving along the lower left is the legend "SIEMPRE" (which is Spanish for "ALWAYS"). Curving along the lower right is the legend "UNIDOS" (which is Spanish for "UNITED"). The coin has a smooth plain raised edge, and a textured background.

Metal Silver finish, metal unknown. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Round, 38 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Around September, 1996.
Issuer Major G. David Lawson of the 24th Maintenance Squadron.
Mintage Most likely less than 100.
Rarity Scarce. Manufacturer Manufacturer unknown, made in Korea. Source SSgt Tamsen Thistlehawk-Ranck.
Varieties None known.
Population Count As of November 27, 2002, I known only of the Thistlehawk-Ranck two specimens, and have never seen any offered on ebay.
Historical Note

These challenge coins were awarded relatively rarely by Major Lawson, as recognition of excellence in performance of duties.

The 24th Maintenance Squadron had approximately 100 members. It was part of the 24th Wing, which in turn was a part of the 12th Air Force (the Air Force component of Southcom). It was based at Howard Air Force Base in the Canal Zone. The 24th Wing was inactivated on November 30, 1999.