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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.

    Armadillo Class Mobile Station Tanker
    Keel Laid 1943 as SS CARL R. GRAY
    Launched 9 November 1943
    Acquired by U.S. Navy 3 December 1943

    Commissioned 3 December 1943 - Decommissioned 30 April 1946
    Laid up 11 May 1946 in National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group
    Name reverted to CARL R. GRAY

    Struck from Naval Register 8 May 1946

  2. ALPHA (Commercial Service)
    Sold 20 May 1948 to Maris Transportation System Inc. and renamed

  3. STRATHBAY (Commercial Service)
    Sold 13 March 1951 to Strathmore Shipping Co. and renamed
    Converted Dry Cargo Ship 1953

  4. COLUMBIA TRADER (Commercial Service)
    Sold January 1955 to Columbia Steamship Co. and renamed
    Sold September 1955 to Standard SS Corp.
    Sold March 1959 to West Coast SS. Co.

  5. PILOT ROCK (Commercial Service)
    Sold 14 August 1963 to Saxis Steamship Co. and renamed

    Sold 10 March 1966 to American Ship Dismantlers, Inc. for scrap

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. USS Gemsbok IX-117 Covers Page 1     (1945)



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

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image


Locy Type 2z

(Separate Dater)



Sailor Mail. Passed By Naval Censor. Ship had no mail facilities of its own, postmarked from another ship or shore station.


Other Information

USS GEMSBOK earned the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ one battle star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Occupation Service (with Asia clasp) and the Philippines Liberation Medal during her Naval career.

NAMESAKE - A large, handsome species of straight-horned African antelope.



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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