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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.

    Benewah Class Self-Propelled Barracks Ship
    Authorized December 17 1943 as Barracks Ship (non-self propelled) (APL)
    Reclassified Barracks Ship (self-propelled) (APB) August 8 1944
    Keel Laid January 2 1945 - Launched May 6 1945

    Commissioned March 19 1946 - Decommissioned August 30 1946
    Recommissioned November 9 1951 - Decommissioned December 1955
    Recommissioned January 28 1967 - Decommissioned February 26 1971

  2. BENEWAH IX-311
    Placed In Service as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX) February 28 1971
    Placed Out of Service September 1 1973

    Struck from Naval Register September 1 1973

  3. RPS HOSPITAL ng TULUNGAN AH-3 (Philippine Naval Service)
    Transferred to the Philippines May 1 1974
    Damaged by onboard fire during conversion to Hospital Ship
    Towed south and used as Barracks Ship for a short time
    Sunk by the Philippine Navy 1975 as a barrier reef

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. Benewah Covers Page 1     (1946-69)



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

1st Commissioning March 19 1946 to August 30 1946


Locy Type

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. CD-4


First Day of Commissioning. "The post office in 1946 was officially assigned to Commander, Boston Group, 16th Fleet. "BENEWAH" postmarks in that period were privately made." (USCS Postmark Catalog)


Locy Type F

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. B-26a


Independence Day. "The post office in 1946 was officially assigned to Commander, Boston Group, 16th Fleet. "BENEWAH" postmarks in that period were privately made." (USCS Postmark Catalog)


Locy Type F

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. B-26a



Illustration courtesy of the USCS Postmark Catalog.

2nd Commissioning November 9 1951 to March 10 1956


Locy Type


As APB-35


Locy Type


Stamps were postmarked prior to affixing to envelope.

3rd Service January 20 1967 to September 1 1973


Locy Type
2(n+) (USS)


As APB-35


Locy Type
9ef(n+u) (USS)


As APB-35


Other Information

Earned 11 Battle Stars (Vietnam)
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II, April - May 1967
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III, June 1967 - January 1968
* Tet Counteroffensive, January - April 1968
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV, April - June 1968
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V, July - November 1968
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI, November 1968 - February 1969
* Tet 69/Counteroffensive, February - june 1969
* Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969, June - October 1969
* Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970, November 1969 - April 1970
* Sanctuary Counteroffensive, May - June 1970
* Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII, July - November 1970

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
Combat Action Ribbon (5) - Presidential Unit Citation (3) - Navy Unit Commendation (4) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Vietnam Service Medal (11) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (4) - Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

NAMESAKE - A county located in the panhandle of northwestern Idaho on the Washington border. Benewah was a chief of the Coeur d’Alene tribe of Salishan Indians.



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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