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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 Ballistic Missile Submarine
    Keel Laid 2 May 1963 - Launched 16 January 1965

    Commissioned 10 December 1965

    Reconfigured for special warfare operations
    Redesignated Attack Submarine (SSN) July 1992
    Inactivation Ceremony 8 August 2001
    Decommissioned 2 April 2002

    Struck from Naval Register 2 April 2002
    Completed disposal through NPSSRP 27 September 2002

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 Kamehameha SSBN / SSN-642 Covers Page 1    (1965-2001)



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



USPO 1-bar

Mare Island, CA



Commissioning, cachet by the USS Saginaw Chapter No. 59, USCS


Other Information

NAMESAKE - Kamehameha I (November 1758? - May 8 1819)
Hawaiian conqueror and king who united all the Hawaiian Islands. His birth came soon after the return of Halley's Comet (1758), whose appearance led seers to prophesy the coming of a great conqueror. As a young man, he fought his cousin over control of the island of Hawaii; by 1795 he had defeated his cousin and conquered all but two of the Hawaiian Islands, and in 1810 the remaining islands were ceded to him. He retained the harsh traditional legal system but protected the common people from the brutality of powerful chiefs and outlawed human sacrifice. He enriched his kingdom through a government monopoly on the sandalwood trade and through port duties imposed on visiting ships and maintained its independence throughout the difficult period of European discovery and exploration of the islands. He founded the most enduring and best-documented line of rulers of Hawaii.

USS KAMEHAMEHA earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon w/ 3 bronze stars, the Navy E Ribbon w/ 3 "E's", the National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 bronze star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 silver stars during her Naval career.

The ships sponsor was Mrs. Samuel Wilder King, widow of Hawaii's last territorial governor.



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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