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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.

    Safeguard Class Rescue and Salvage Ship
    Keel Laid 28 April 1984 - Launched 8 December 1984

    Commissioned 15 November 1986 - Decommissioned 13 July 2006

    Placed in Service 13 July 2006 - Placed out of Service 1 October 2016

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 Grapple ARS-53 Covers Page 1    (2006)
  2. USNS Grapple T-ARS-53 Covers Page 1     (DATE RANGE)



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


Pictorial Postmark


Norfolk, VA


Decommissioning, cachet by Greg Ciesielski


Other Information

USS GRAPPLE earned the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (10 awards), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Service Medal during her Naval career.

Two ships of the US Navy have borne the name GRAPPLE - USS Grapple ARS-7 and USNS Grapple T-ARS-53.



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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