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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.

    Alert Class Submarine Tender
    Keel Laid 1873 as an iron-hulled screw steamer
    Launched September 18 1874

  1. USS ALERT (Screw Steamer)
    Commissioned May 28 1875 - Decommissioned July 31 1882
    Recommissioned October 8 1883 - Decommissioned September 23 1886
    Recommissioned January 15 1887 - Decommissioned February 6 1890
    Recommissioned October 9 1890 - Decommissioned September 23 1893
    Recommissioned April 2 1894 - Decommissioned June 4 1898
    Recommissioned May 11 1901 - Decommissioned 1907
    Loaned to California Naval Militia Early 1907 - Returned February 27 1910
    Recommissioned In Reserve January 25 1912
    Reclassified Submarine Tender 1912

  2. USS ALERT Submarine Tender No. 4
    Placed in Full Commission July 1 1912

    Designated (AS) July 17 1920
    Decommissioned March 9 1922
    Struck from Naval Register 1922
    Sold July 27 1922 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 Alert AS-4 Covers Page 1     (1912-1918)



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 To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image


South Butler NY


Mailed from South Butler NY by Dr. M. F. Sweeting, MD (father?) to Ensign C. E. Sweeting, USN now assigned to the USS ALERT. Mailed to US Navy Yard Mare Island CA and rerouted to Navy Pay Office, San Francisco CA (2-line rubberstamp marking on left side). Postmarks on the back from Savannah NY dated Feb. 14 1887; Vallejo CA Feb. 22 1887 and San Francisco CA (Rec'd) on Feb 23 1887.


Callao Peru


Back...New York NY duplex 01-01 Scottsville NY REC'D 01-02

Post Office Established March 4 1912 - Disestablished Date unknown


Locy Type
2r (AC)


Sailor mail. Courtesy of the Jim Myerson Collection.


Locy Type
3 (AC)

T. H."


Sailor mail. Courtesy of the Jim Myerson Collection.

Post Office Reestablished April 5 1917 - Disestablished June 23 1921


Locy Type


Censored Sailor's mail. Courtesy of the Jim Myerson Collection.


Other Information

USS ALERT received the following award during her Naval career - World War I Victory Medal

NAMESAKE - Vigilantly attentive; watchful: alert to danger



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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