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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.

    Patrol Gunboat
    Keel Laid 11 October 1883 - Launched 12 April 1884

  1. USS DOLPHIN Unarmored Cruiser
  2. Commissioned 8 December 1885 - Decommissioned 1 May 1891
    Recommissioned 14 March 1892 - Decommissioned 23 November 1897
    Recommissioned 24 March 1898

  4. Designated Patrol Gunboat (PG) 17 July 1920
    Decommissioned 8 December 1921

    Sold 25 February 1922 to Mexico

  5. PLAN DE GUADALUPE (Mexican Naval Service)
    Stricken 1924 and scrapped circa 1927

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 Dolphin PG-24 Covers Page 1     (1891-1914)



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
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image

1st Commissioning 8 December 1885 to 1 May 1891


Duplex Cancel

Norfolk VA



Unarmored Cruiser.Posted to U.S.S. DOLPHIN at Old Pt. Comfort VA

3rd Commissioning 24 March 1898 to 8 December 1921


Locy Type 1


Unarmored Cruiser


Locy Type 9v (C)


Unarmored Cruiser. Facing Slip. Courtesy of Stewart Milstein.


Other Information

NAMESAKE - A gregarious aquatic mammal having a pointed muzzle, and found in most oceans.

Seven ships of the US Navy have borne the name DOLPHIN - USS Dolphin (1777 Cutter), USS Dolphin (1821 Schooner), USS Dolphin (1836 Brig), USS Dolphin PG-24, USS Dolphin SP-318, USS Dolphin SP-874, USS Dolphin SS-169
and USS Dolphin AGSS-555.

One Cutter of the US Coast Guard bears the name DOLPHIN - USCGC Dolphin WPB-87354.



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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