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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.

    General John Pope Class Transport
    Keel Laid February 2 1944 as Maritime Commission type (P2-S2-R2) hull GENERAL R. M. BLATCHFORD
    Renamed July 1 1944
    Launched August 6 1944
    Acquired by U.S. Navy October 31 1944

    Commissioned November 2 1944 - Decommissioned February 14 1946
    Transferred to U.S. Army Transportation Service February 14 1946

    Commissioned February 14 1946

    Struck from Naval Register April 12 1946
    Returned to Maritime Commission March 10 1948

  3. LA GUARDIA (Commercial Service)
    Chartered May 6 1948 by American Export Lines Inc. for use as Passenger Liner
    Returned to Maritime Commission December 1 1951
    Reacquired (Date unknown) by U.S. Army Transportation Service for troop service in Korea
    Laid up November 1952 in National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA

  4. LEILANI (Commercial Service)
    Bought February 5 1957 by Hawaiian Steamship Co. and renamed
    Laid up December 29 1958 in San Francisco
    Seized by Federal Government May 12 1959 and put up for auction June

  5. PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT (Commercial Service)
    Bought by American President Lines July 25 1960 and renamed

  6. ATLANTIS (Commercial Service)
    Sold 1970 to D & A Chandris and renamed

  7. EMERALD SEAS (Commercial Service)
    Sold October 1972 to Ares Shipping Corp. and renamed
    Sold to Eastern Steamship (Date unknown)

  8. SAPPHIRE SEAS (Commercial Service)
    Sold 1992 to Festival Cruises and renamed
    Laid up October 1994 at Piraeus, Greece

  9. OCEAN EXPLORER 1 (Commercial Service)
    Renamed 1998 for use at Lisbon as one of three Hotel ships for Expo 98
    Laid up at Eleusis, Greece
    Placed in service November 1999 by World Cruise Co.
    Laid up May 2000 at Eleusis, Greece

    Scrapped 2005 in India

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. Covers Page 1     (1945-46)



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

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image


Locy Type




Locy Type

(Br. #15052)


Mark from back of cover



Commercial Strike




Other Information

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
American Campaign Medal
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Europe clasp)

NAMESAKE - Wilds Preston Richardson (March 20 1861 - May 20 1929)
Richardson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1884 and served on the American frontier and in Alaska. During World War I, he commanded the 155th Depot Brigade, Camp Lee, Va., and later the 78th Infantry Brigade, Camp Beauregard, La. He sailed in August 1918 for France where he led in turn the 78th Infantry Brigade, 39th Division and the 55th Brigade, 28th Division to March 1919. General Richardson participated in the Meuse-Argonne Sector and commanded the A.E.F. in northern Russia, receiving The Distinguished Service Medal for the latter duty. Following his return to the United States in 1919 he served in Georgia, Washington, D.C., and the state of Washington. He died in Washington, D.C., May 20 1929



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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