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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.

    Forrest Sherman Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid 17 June 1957 - Launched 19 August 1958

    Commissioned 29 October 1959 - Decommissioned 19 January 1966

    Reclassified Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) 15 March 1967
    Recommissioned 3 November 1967 - Decommissioned 19 November 1982

    Struck from Naval Register 15 May 1984
    Sunk as target 25 April 1989

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 Parsons DD-949 / DDG-33 Covers Page 1    (1965-75)



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

1st Commissioning 29 October 1959 to 19 January 1966


Locy Type
FDC 2t(n+u)(USS)




Locy Type
FDC 9fu (USS)


Commissioning. Stamped on the reverse.


Locy Type
2t(n+u) (USS)


As DD-949. Memorial Day, cachet by the Admiral Farragut Chapter No. 3, USCS

2nd Commissioning 3 November 1967 to 19 November 1982


Locy Type
2(n+) (USS)


As DDG-33


Locy Type
2-1n+ (USS)


As DDG-33. Ships cachet, serviced by Wolfgang Hechler


Locy Type
9eft(n+u) (USS)


As DDG-33. USCS Postmark Catalog list as Type 9ef(n+u) (USS)


Other Information

NAMESAKE - Rear Admiral William Sterling "Deak" Parsons, USN (26 November 1901 - 5 December 1953)
Parsons was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1918 and commissioned Ensign upon graduating in June 1922. His first assignment was in the battleship Idaho (BB-42), which was followed by post-graduate study in ordnance engineering at the Navy Postgraduate School, Washington, D.C. He then served on board Texas (BB-35) before returning to Washington as Liaison Officer between the Bureau of Ordnance and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), where he aided in the early development of radar. In 1939 he was assigned as Experimental Officer at the Navy Proving Grounds, Dahlgren, Virginia, and helped to develop the radio proximity fuse for anti-aircraft shells for the fleet. On 15 June 1943 he reported to the Los Alamos Laboratory of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico, as Ordnance Division Associate Director and Officer in Charge of Project Alberta. After witnessing the first atom bomb test in New Mexico, Captain Parsons was appointed Officer-in-charge of the Overseas (Tinian, Marianas) Technical Group, and as Bomb Commander he assembled — in flight — the triggering device of Little Boy, the first atomic bomb used in combat over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. He was next assigned as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Special Weapons and as Deputy Commander for Technical Direction and Commander Task Group 1.1, conducting Operation Crossroads, the tests on the effectiveness of atomic weapons on naval vessels at Bikini Atoll. Parsons' portrait is among a series of paintings related to Operation Crossroads. Having served as Commodore from 10 August 1945, and as temporary Rear Admiral from 8 January 1946 to 7 August 1947, he was promoted to Rear Admiral 1 July 1948. After serving in various ordnance billets and as a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, he was ordered to duty as Deputy and Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department. While serving in this capacity, he died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 52, on 05 December 1953. Parsons was buried at Arlington National Cemetery

The ships sponsor was Mrs. William Parsons, widow of RAdm Parsons.



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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