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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.

    John C. Butler Class Type WGT Destroyer Escort
    Authorized as DONALDSON
    Renamed June 23 1943
    Keel Laid November 18 1943 - Launched February 22 1944

    Commissioned May 12 1944 - Decommissioned July 2 1946
    Recommissioned July 15 1950 - Decommissioned March 31 1959

    Struck from Naval Register March 1 1972
    Sold November 20 1973 for scrap

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     (1944)



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


Kearny NJ


Twin launching with USS McCOY REYNOLDS DE-440


Kearny NJ


Twin launching with USS McCOY REYNOLDS DE-440

1st Commissioning May 12 1944 to July 2 1946


Locy Type




Other Information

GILLIGAN earned one battle star for World War II service

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal

NAMESAKE - John Joseph Gilligan USMCR (June 17 1923 - August 8 1942)
Gilligan enlisted, in the Marine Corps Reserve January 8 1942 and served at Parris Island, S.C., and Quantico, Va. Private Gilligan was mortally wounded in action while serving with the First Marine Raider Battalion at Tulagi, Solomon Islands, on August 7 1942 and died the next day. For his heroism under fire, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star



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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