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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.

    Built 1882 as Marine Research Vessel
    Launched 19 August 1882

  1. USS ALBATROSS (Research Vessel)
    Commissioned 11 November 1882

  2. USS ALBATROSS (Auxiliary Cruiser)
    Reclassified 21 April 1898

  3. ALBATROSS (Research Vessel)
    Reverted 8 September 1898

  4. USS ALBATROSS (Gunboat)
    Reclassified 19 November 1917

  5. USS ALBATROSS (Research Vessel)
    Reverted 23 June 1919
    Decommissioned 29 October 1921

    Sold 16 June 1924 to Thomas Butler and Co. of Boston, MA

  6. ALBATROSS (Private Schoolship)
    Placed under attachment for indebtedness 18 October 1927

    Fate unknown

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 Albatross Covers Page 1     (1911)



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

Post Office Established 1911 - Disestablished 1912


Locy Type
2 (AC)


From the Bob Govern collection.

Post Office Reestablished 29 September 1917 - Disestablished 18 November 1921


Other Information

NAMESAKE - Any of several large web-footed birds constituting the family Diomedeidae, chiefly of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.

History Lesson - ""USS" ALBATROSS was a Bureau of Fisheries ship, but apparently the bureau didn't have enough skilled seamen to operate her and begged for help from the Navy. She worked off the coast of Alaska in 1911-1912, "regulating" fisheries. We still do regulating, today mostly arguing with the Japanese and Russians over catches of salmon, halibut and pollack. I suspect back then they were more concerned with fur seals -- but that's another story. Apparently the Navy crew decided they wanted a post office like other Navy ships, and the Post Office Department agreed and supplied a cancel reading "USS" ALBATROSS, although she wasn't really a Navy ship. After a couple of years of this duty she set off for the Philippines and the post office was closed." Dave Kent, USCS Postmark catalog editor.



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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