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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.

    Virginia Class (Block II) Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine
    Construction began in December 2006 - Named "CALIFORNIA" January 30 2008
    Keel Laid 1 May 2009 - Christened 6 November 2010
    Launched 14 November 2010 - Delivered to the Navy 7 August 2011

    Commissioned 29 October 2011

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 California SSN-781 Covers Page 1     (2009-2018)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. 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


Pictorial Postmark

"Christening of California"

Newport News VA


Christening, cachet by Stephen Decatur Chapter No. 4, USCS


Pictorial Postmark

"Commissioning Station"

Norfolk VA


Commissioning, cachet by Stephen Decatur Chapter No. 4, USCS


Pictorial Postmark

"5th Anniversary Sta."

Norfolk VA


5th Anniversary, cachet by Robert Jank


Pictorial Postmark

"10th Anniversary Sta."

Newport News VA


10th Anniversary, cachet by Michael Brock


Pictorial Postmark

10th Anniversary Sta.

Newport News VA


Cachet by Artopage Covers The pictorial was obtained by USCS member Joseph De Rogatis #12594 using the stock cachet.


Other Information

NAMESAKE - The State of California.

Seven ships of the US Navy have been named CALIFORNIA - USS California (1867 Screw Sloop), USS California ACR-6, USS California SP-249, USS California SP-647,
USS California BB-44, USS California CGN-36 and USS California SSN-781.

The ships sponsor is Donna Willard, wife of Admiral Robert F. Willard.



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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