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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.

    Greenville Victory Class Cargo Ship
    Keel Laid December 9 1944 as "SS APPELTON VICTORY"
    Launched January 19 1945 - Delivered to the WSA March 23 1945
    Acquired by USAT June 20 1946

    Renamed and Placed in Service August 30 1946
    Decommissioned by U.S. Army (date unknown)

    Acquired by U.S. Navy March 1 1950
    Placed In Service March 1 1950 - Placed Out of Service (date unknown)

    Returned to Maritime Administration August 25 1980
    Struck from Naval Register July 31 1982
    Sold June 4 1982 for scrap
PriJohnRTowle TAK240 Photo.jpg
JonBurdett Pvtjohnrtowle tak240 patch.jpg

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. USNS Private John R. Towle T-AK-240 Covers Page 1     (1970-80)



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
Cover Image

No Postal Facilities Onboard


Locy Type

Little America, Antarctica
"U. S. Navy/


JohnGermann Private John R. Towle TAK240 19580111 1 Front.jpg

This Operation Deepfreeze expedition was designed to promote scientific knowledge about Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year. The ship had no postal facilities.



US Army-Air Force /
Postal Service

APO 121



GregCiesielski PvtJohnRTowle TAK240 19580801 1 Front.jpg


Arctic Operations 1958. Signed by Leo Lavin, Purser.


Other Information

The USNS Private John R. Towle earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Antarctic Service Medal during her Naval career.

NAMESAKE - John Roderick Towle (October 19, 1924 – September 21, 1944)
Towle was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
Towle joined the Army from his birth city of Cleveland, Ohio, and by September 21, 1944 was serving as a private in Company C, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. On that day, near Oosterhout in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden, Towle engaged a German force with his rocket launcher in an attempt to disable two enemy tanks and a half track. He was killed during the battle and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor six months later, on March 15, 1945.
Towle, aged 19 at his death, was buried at Calvary Cemetery in his hometown of Cleveland.



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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