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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.

    Alhena Class Cargo Ship
    Keel Laid 19 June 1940 as SS ROBIN KETTERING
    Launched 18 January 1941 - Purchased by US Navy 31 May 1941

    Commissioned 15 June 1941

    Redesignated Attack Cargo Ship (AKA) 26 November 1942
    Decommissioned 22 May 1946

    Struck from Naval Register 15 August 1946
    Transferred to MARCOM 12 September 1946
    Purchased by Seas Shipping Co., 16 October 1947
    Sold in June 1957 by Seas Shipping Co., to Flying Hawk Inc., renamed SS FLYING HAWK
    Sold in June 1962 to American Export Lines, later Isbrantsen Lines
    Final Disposition, retired from service and scrapped in 1971.


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 Alhena AK-26 / AKA-9 Covers Page 1     (1941-45)



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 8 September 1941 - Disestablished 22 May 1946


Locy Type


AK-26. First Day of Postal Service, cachet by Walter Czubay


Locy Type 2z


AKA-9. Censored, sailors mail.


Locy Type
3 (A-OTO)


AK-26. Add-on cachet by Bruce D. Liddell


Locy Type
3z (BTT)


AKA-9. Official mail


Locy Type 9v


AKA-9. Registered, official mail. Mark from back of cover


Other Information

USS ALHENA earned the Combat Action Ribbon (3 awards), the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal (with "A" device), the American Campaign Medal, the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 6 Battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp), the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Medal (2 awards) during her Naval career.

NAMESAKE - Named for a star in the constellation Gemini.

The ships sponsor was Mrs. William Sanford Lewis.



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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