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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.

    Gearing Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid 16 May 1945 - Launched 5 October 1945

  1. USS RICH DD-820
    Commissioned 3 July 1946 - Decommissioned 15 June 1947
    Recommissioned after conversion 30 April 1948

  2. USS RICH DDE-820
    Redesignated Escort Destroyer (DDE) 4 March 1950

  3. USS RICH DD-820
    Reverted to Destroyer (DD) 30 June 1962
    Decommissioned 15 December 1977

    Stricken 15 December 1977
    Sold December 1979 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 incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). 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 Rich DD-820 / DDE-820 / DD-820 Covers Page 1    (1946-1969)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). 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

1st Commissioning 3 July 1946 to 15 June 1947


Locy Type
FDC 2(n)


DD-820. First Day of Commission, cachet by Morris W. Beck


Locy Type



2nd Commissioning 30 April 1948 to 15 December 1977


Locy Type

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. R-15


DDE-820. Cachet by George V. Sadworth


Locy Type
2(n+) (DD,USS)


DD-820. Apollo X Space Program support


Locy Type
2t(nu) (DD)




Locy Type

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. R-15c


DDE-820. Cachet by George V. Sadworth


Locy Type P

[R-15 with "E" removed]




Locy Type P

[R-15a with "E" removed]


DD-820. Add-on cachet by Wolfgang Hechler.


Other Information

USS RICH was awarded three battle stars for service off Vietnam.

NAMESAKE - Lieutenant (junior grade) Ralph McMaster Rich (22 January 1916 - 18 June 1942).
Designated a Naval Aviator on 12 July 1940, he was commissioned Ensign on 16 August, and assigned to Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6) in the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise CV-6 on 28 November.
Ensign Rich participated in several of the early actions of the Pacific War. Among them were the 1 February 1942 raid on the Marshall Islands, in which he destroyed a Japanese bomber on the ground, and the 24 February attack on Wake Island.
Promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) on 28 May 1942, he led a section of fighters covering the approach of American bombers against the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Midway 4-6 June 1942. In addition, Lt.(j.g.) Rich is credited with shooting down one enemy torpedo plane while flying on combat air patrol over Yorktown (CV-5). On 18 June 1942, while participating in aerial gunnery practice over the Hawaiian Islands, his F4F-4 "Wildcat" fighter lost a wing and crashed, killing Lt.(j.g.) Ralph M. Rich instantly. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his "capable and aggressive leadership" in the Midway battle, which enabled his attack group to "maintain continuous flight over enemy naval units, thereby assuring our dive bombers an unmolested approach."

The ships sponsor was Mrs. Ralph McM. Rich.

Two US Navy ships have been named in his honor; USS Rich DE-695 and USS Rich DD/DDE/DD-820.



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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