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Ship Name and Designation History

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Commencement Bay Class Escort Carrier
    Keel Laid September 23 1943
    Launched May 9 1944 as ST. JOSEPH BAY
    Renamed July 10 1944

    Commissioned 27 Nov 1944 - Decommissioned 30 Nov 1946
    Reclassified Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carrier (CVHE) June 12 1955, While in reserve
    Reclassified Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry AKV-37 May 7 1959, While in reserve

    Struck from Naval Register April 1 1971
    Fate unknown

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

  1. Covers Page 1     (1945-46)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image


Locy Type
2(n) Oct 27, 1945


"Victory Cancel"


Locy Type
2(n) (used after POD)


Post office discontinued March 15 1946


Locy Type


Censored wartime (WWII) use


Other Information

NAMESAKE - The body of water on which Tacoma, Washington is located



If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


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