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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.

    Admiral W. S. Benson Class Transport
    Keel Laid June 15 1944, as Maritime Commission type (P2-SE2-R1) hull
    Launched June 4 1945

    Commissioned September 27 1945 - Decommissioned June 21 1946

    Struck from Naval Register July 3 1946
    Returned to Maritime Commission for assignment to the US Army Transportation Service

    Commissioned August 1946

    Renamed (Date unknown)
    Reacquired by U.S. Navy March 1 1950
    Assigned to The Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS)

    Placed In Service April 28 1950 - Out of Service 1967
    Name withdrawn June 1976, designation retained as AP-127
    Returned to Maritime Administration July 1971
    Laid up in National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA

    Struck July 6 1976
    Redesignated Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX) October 1981

  5. IX-510
    Placed In Service at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA, July 1 1982
    Provided berthing and messing facilities
    Placed Out of Service April 1991
    Returned to James River Reserve Fleet

    Struck from Naval Register October 26 1993
    Transferred to the Maritime Administration May 1 1999
    Sold September 13 2004 to Marine Metals Inc, Brownsville, TX for scrap
    Scrapping completed September 11 2006

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 ADMIRAL W. S. SIMS Covers Page 1     (1946)
  2. USNS GENERAL WILLIAM O. DARBY Covers Page 1     (1966)



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

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image

Post Office Established September 6 1945 - Disestablished July 11 1946


Locy Type




Locy Type
9efu ("S" in "W.S." omitted)



"Proof Strike on Plain Paper"


Other Information


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

NAMESAKE - William S. Sims (1858 - September 25 1936)
Sims was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1876 and graduated in 1880. Seventeen years of sea duty were followed by assignments as Naval Attaché to Paris, St. Petersburg, and Madrid. Sims next served as Inspector of Target Practice; and, under his supervision, the naval gunnery system increased the rapidity of hits 100 percent and the general effectiveness of fire 500 percent. He also served as Naval Aide to President Theodore Roosevelt for two and one-half years. On February 11 1917, Sims became President of the Naval War College. In March 1917, he was designated by the Secretary of the Navy as Representative of the Navy Department in London. With the entry of the United States into World War I in April, he was ordered to assume command of all American destroyers, tenders, and auxiliaries operating from British bases. In May, he was designated as Commander of United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, with the rank of Vice Admiral; and, in June, his title was changed to Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. On December 10 1917, he assumed additional duty as Naval Attaché, London, England. The North Sea Mine Barrage was laid under his direction. Admiral Sims again became President of the Naval War College in April 1919 and served in that capacity until his retirement on October 15 1922. He died at Boston, Mass., on September 25 1936


Earned 1 Battle Star (Vietnam)
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
August 1966

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal - Vietnam Service Medal (1) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

NAMESAKE - William Orlando Darby (February 8 1911 - April 30 1945)
Darby graduated from the U.S. Military Academy June 13 1933 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, Prior to the beginning of World War II, he served with the 82d, 3d, and 80th Field Artillery Divisions and with the 1st Cavalry- In 1942 he assumed command of the 1st Ranger Battalion and distinguished himself during operations in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Promoted to Colonel December 11 1943, he returned to the United States in April 1944 for duty with the Army Ground Forces and later with the Operations Division, War Department General Staff. He returned to Europe in March 1945, and became Assistant Commander of the 10th Mountain Division the following month. He was killed by an exploding shell April 30 1945 and was posthumously promoted to Brigadier General.



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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