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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.

    O'Brien Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid September 8 1913 - Launched July 20 1914

  1. USS O'BRIEN Destroyer No. 51
    Commissioned May 23 1915

  2. USS O'BRIEN DD 51
    Designated (DD) July 17 1921 - Decommissioned June 9 1922

    Stricken March 8 1935
    Sold August 23 1935 and broken up 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. Covers Page 1     (DATE RANGE)



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







Other Information

NAMESAKE - Captain Jeremiah O’Brien (1744–1818) was in command of Unity when she captured HMS Margaretta in the first naval battle of the American Revolutionary War. He was born at Kittery, Maine. O'Brien and his five brothers, Gideon, John, William, Dennis and Joseph, were crewmembers of the sloop Unity when she captured Margaretta on 12 June 1775, at the entrance to the harbor at Machias (a town then in Massachusetts, later in Maine). Under the command of Jeremiah O’Brien, thirty-one townsmen armed with guns, swords, axes, and pitch forks captured the British armed schooner in an hour-long battle after Margaretta had threatened to bombard the town for interference with the shipment of lumber to British troops in Boston, Massachusetts. This battle is often considered the first time British colors were struck to those of the United States, even though Unity was not formally a member of the Continental Navy. The United States Merchant Marine claims Unity as its member and this incident as their beginning. A privateer, O'Brien continued as the captain of Unity, renamed Machias Liberty, for two years. In later years, he had an appointment as the federal customs collector for the port of Machias. a position he held until his death. {DANFS}

Five ships of the US Navy have been named O'BRIEN - USS O'Brien Torpedo Boat #30, USS O'Brien Destroyer #51, USS O'Brien DD-415, USS O'Brien DD-725 and USS O'Brien DD-975.



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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