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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.

    Pathfinder Class Survey Ship
    Built 1929 as Survey Vessel
    Operated by the Coast and Geodetic Survey
    Launched (Date unknown)
    Acquired by U.S. Navy August 31 1942

    Commissioned Survey Ship (AGS) August 31 1942
    Decommissioned January 31 1946
    Transferred to the Commerce Department August 22 1946

    Returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey October 1 1946

    Struck from Naval Register November 13 1946
    Retired from NOAA service 1971

    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 name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). 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. Covers Page 1     (1943-44)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. 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 To
Cover Image


Locy Type


JonBurdett pathfinder ags1 19430513 pm.jpg
JonBurdett pathfinder ags1 19430513.jpg

Censored wartime (WWII) use


Locy Type


JohnGermann Pathfinder AGS1 19460119 1a Postmark.jpg
JohnGermann Pathfinder AGS1 19460119 1 Front.jpg

Note: Type P = 3z with USS Pathfinder in killer bars


Other Information

PATHFINDER received two battle stars for World War II service

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - May 6 1945) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal

Individual Awards...
Purple Heart (1 KIA, May 6 1945)

NAMESAKE - One who discovers a new route through untraversed regions



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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