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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.

    Lapwing Class Minesweeper
    Keel Laid July 9 1918 - Launched January 30 1919

  1. USS ORTOLAN Minesweeper No. 45
    Commissioned September 17 1919

    Designated (AM) July 17 1920

    Reclassified Submarine Rescue Ship (ASR) September 12 1929
    Decommissioned March 18 1947

    Struck from Naval Register June 10 1947
    Transferred to Maritime Commission for disposal
    Sold August 20 1947 to Bay Cities Transportation Co. for merchantile service

    Fate unknown


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. Ortolan Covers Page 1    (1931-46)



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

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Close-Up Image
Thumbnail Link To
Full Cover Image


Locy Type
3 (BC-BTT)



As ASR-5
Memorial Day
William F. Schlechter


Locy Type
3 (BC-BTT)
(used after POD)


As ASR-5
Cachet by Donald R. Graf
Post Office discontinued (POD) November 15 1945


Locy Type
3z (TTT)


As ASR-5
Censored wartime (WWII) use


Locy Type
9 (C)


As ASR-5


Locy Type
9 (C)
(With added bars)

Mare Island /


As ASR-5


Other Information

ORTOLAN earned 1 Battle Star (WWII)

NAMESAKE - Named for the European Bunting



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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