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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 2 January 1945 - Launched 14 June 1945

  1. RABAUL CVE-121
    Delivered to the Navy 30 August 1946
    Accepted into the 19th Fleet, (Pacific Reserve Fleet, Tacoma)

  2. RABAUL CVHE-121
    Reclassified June 1955

    Transferred to the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego June 1958

  3. RABAUL AKV-21
    Reclassified May 1959

    Struck from the Naval Vessel Register 1 September 1971
    Sold 25 August 1972 for scrapping

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. Rabaul AKV-21 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

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image


Machine Postmark

Tacoma, WA


The ship was launched too late for duty in WW2 and was never commissioned, spending her entire career in reserve.The cover date is July 14 rather than the official launch date of June 14. Launching, cachet by A. H. S..


Other Information

NAMESAKE - A strategically significant port in the Pacific theater of World War II.

The ships sponsor was Alice Schade, wife of US Navy architect Commodore Henry Adrian "Packy" Schade



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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