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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.

    Balao Class Submarine
    Keel Laid 26 June 1942 - Launched 27 October 1942

  1. USS BALAO SS-285
    Commissioned 4 February 1943 - Decommissioned 20 August 1946
    Recommissioned 4 March 1952

    Redesignated Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS) 1 July 1960
    Decommissioned 11 July 1963

    Struck from Naval Register 1 August 1963
    Sunk 4 September 1963 as target off Charleston, SC

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 Balao AGSS-285 Covers Page 1     (DATE RANGE)



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


Locy Type 3z



Launching, cachet by Gow C. Ng


Locy Type 3z



Commissioning, cachet by Richard Buchwald


Other Information

USS BALAO earned the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 9 Battle Stars for her WWII service.

USS BALAO was used as the pink submarine in the 1959 movie Operation Petticoat starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtiss

The Conning Tower and shears were removed prior to sinking as a target for display at the Navy Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

NAMESAKE - Balao is the name of any of several halfbeaks



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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