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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.

    Clemson Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid 27 December 1918 - Launched 29 May 1919

  1. USS GILLIS Destroyer No. 260
    Commissioned 3 September 1919

  2. USS GILLIS DD-260
    Designated (DD) 17 July 1920
    Decommissioned 26 May 1922
    Recommissioned 25 March 1941

    Converted to Sea Plane Tender (AVD) 2 August 1940
    Decommissioned 15 October 1945

    Struck from Naval Register 1 November 1945
    Sold 29 January 1946 and broken up 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 incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). 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 Gillis AVD-12 Covers Page 1    (1941)



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

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image

Post office reestablished 24 April 1941 - Disestablished 1 October 1945


Locy Type



As AVD-12. First Day of Postal Service, cachet by Al Cohen


Locy Type


As AVD-12. First Day of Postal Service, Registry receipt


Locy Type


As AVD-12. First Day Postal Service


Locy Type
3 (A-BBT)


As AVD-12


Other Information

USS GILLIS earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 Battle stars and the World War II Victory Medal during her Naval career.

NAMESAKES - John P. Gillis (September 8 1803 - February 25 1873) John Gillis was appointed Midshipman in 1825. He served with distinction in the Mexican War at the capture of Tuspan and in 1853-54 sailed with Commodore Perry's expedition to open Japan to the West. During the Civil War he commanded MONTICELLO, SEMINOLE, and OSSIPEE in the Union blockade and subsequently was on duty at New York until retiring in 1866. Commodore Gillis died February 25 1873 in Wilmington, Delaware.

James Henry Gillis (May 14 1831- December 6 1910)
James Gillis graduated from the Naval Academy in 1854. Three years later, while serving in Stores Ship SUPPLY he rescued the crew of a floundered Argentine ship during a violent storm. During the Civil War he served with Union Squadrons blockading the Confederacy and subsequently commanded MICHIGAN, FRANKLIN (Flagship European Station), LACKAWANNA, MINNESOTA, and HARTFORD (Flagship Pacific Station). Appointed Rear Admiral in 1888, he retired on May 14 1893. Known as the "Sailor with a charmed life" because he never lost a man at sea, Rear Admiral Gillis died December 6 1910 at Melbourne Beach, FL.

The ships sponsors were Miss Helen Irvine Murray, granddaughter of Admiral Gillis; and Mrs. Josephine T. Smith, niece of Commodore Gillis.



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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