River Rats 

Challenge Coin

An updated version of the River Rats Challenge Coin commemorating the organization's 50th Anniversary that integrates elements from all services, signifying the solidarity of our mission, history, and traditions of the River Rats .

River Rats Challenge Coin

The original challenge coin was designed by  J.D. Franks and Dave Gray with input from other Langley pack members in 1985. Their outstanding coin design symbolizes key elements of that era and paid homage to the beginnings of the River Rats in Vietnam.

The Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack was tasked with making an updated version of the River Rats Challenge Coin in honor of our 50th anniversary.

Reflecting the broader membership of the River Rats today, our goal in updating the challenge coin was to incorporate elements from all services, signifying the solidarity of our mission, history, and traditions of the River Rats.

About the Updated Coin

The updated coin is two-inches in diameter and is finished in a matted silver with a wave cut edge.

Front of the Coin

Displayed on the front of the coin is the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association shield and banner, encircled by the motto:


Back of the Coin

The back of the coin features the following symbolic elements:

  • The 4 symbols of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines

  • A nickel at the top center position, representing the “Throw a Nickel on the Grass” tradition for those who have gone before us

  • The POW/MIA ribbon in the center, with the yellow outline

  • The phrase “Check 6” sits at the bottom center

  • The dots along the top arc represent the tap code used by the POWs to communicate with each other, spelling out one of the standard yet powerful sign-offs: GBU (God Bless You)

  • The bottom arc is the Shakespeare saying which binds us altogether: “WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW, WE BAND OF BROTHERS"

River Rats Challenge Coin Rules

In keeping with the tradition of the original River Rat challenge coin, the rule is that “If coined, you have 5 seconds to produce your coin or you buy a round of drinks. If you manage to produce your coin within 5 seconds, then the person initiating the challenge would buy the round”.

Obtaining Your Coin

The minimum accepted donation for one coin is $15. Your donation covers the cost of shipping and handling (Coins are $10.00 in person). Additional coins can be acquired for a donation of $10.00 per coin. Donations greater than the minimum required amount are greatly appreciated.


1)   To purchase your coin online, use this link:

2)   Make checks payable to “Kentuckiana River Rats” and send to following address:


            Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack
            7716 Cambridge Ct. 
            Crestwood, KY 40014


If you have any questions, contact:

            Craig “Pontiff” Pope

            Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack LFC




The Billy Sparks pack is based out of the Louisville area and covers all surrounding areas of the Kentuckiana area. Our mission is to promote the commraderaie and traditions of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association,"the River Rats,” for those who have come before us and to current members and those wanting to become a River Rat. While flying fighters is not a requirement to be a River Rat, we are united by a shared "Aviation Warrior Spirt.”



Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack
7716 Cambridge Ct.

Crestwood, KY 40014




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