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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.

    Benjamin Franklin Class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine,
    Keel Laid 23 November 1963 - Christened & Launched 22 May 1965

  2. Commissioned 16 April 1966

  4. Reclassified Attack Submarine (SSN) March 1994
    Deactivated 9 January 1999 - Decommissioned 8 July 1999

    Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 8 July 1999
    Scrapping completed 26 April 2000

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 James K. Polk SSBN-645 / SSN-645 Covers Page 1    (1963-2016)



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 To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image

USPS Pictorial Postmark


Pictorial Postmark

"Inactivation Ceremony

Norfolk, VA


Deactivation, cachet by the Stephen Decatur Chapter No. 4, USCS


Pictorial Postmark

"50th Anniversary

Groton CT


50th Anniversary of Commissioning, postmark designed by Wolfgang Hechler. Cachet by Mike Brock


Other Information

NAMESAKE - James Knox Polk, born in Mecklenburg County, N.C., 2 November 1795, served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1825–39), was Speaker of the House (1835–39), and Governor of Tennessee (1839–41) before becoming the eleventh President of the United States 4 March 1845. During his administration the Oregon boundary dispute was settled with Great Britain, tariff was lowered, and the United States acquired the southwestern part of the country from Mexico. Shortly after the end of his one term as president, Polk died in retirement 15 June 1849 at his home in Nashville, Tenn.

Two ships of the US Navy have honored JAMES K. POLK - USS President Polk AP-103 and USS James K. Polk SSBN-645.

The ships sponsor is Mrs. Horacio Rivero, Jr., wife of Admiral Rivero, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

James K. Polk's sail is on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico



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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