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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.

    Lewis and Clark Class Dry Cargo Ship
    Keel Laid 26 March 2010 - Launched & Christened 16 April 2011

    Placed In Service 28 September 2011

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. USNS William McLean T-AKE-12 Covers Page 1     (2010-2011)



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 To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image


USPS 4-bar

"Midway Philatelic Br."

San Diego CA



Keel Laid, cachet by Roger A. Wentworth


Other Information

NAMESAKE - William Burdette McLean (1914–1976)
    McLean was a United States Navy physicist, who conceived and developed the heat-seeking Sidewinder missile.
    The son of a Protestant clergyman, McLean attended Caltech, where he took three degrees in physics, finishing with a doctorate in 1939. During World War II, McLean worked on ordnance equipment and testing at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. Following the war, he moved to the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS), Inyokern, California (now the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake), where he led the project team developing the Sidewinder missile from 1945 to 1954. In April 1954, he was appointed technical director, the senior civilian position at the Station, a position which he held till 1967. For his work on the Sidewinder, he was awarded $25,000 and a plaque from President Eisenhower. He then served as technical director for the Navy's submarine-warfare research center in San Diego until 1974.

The ships sponsor is Dr. McLean's niece, Margaret Taylor.



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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