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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.

    Skate Class Submarine
    Keel Laid 21 July 1955 - Launched 16 May 1957

  1. USS SKATE SSN-578
  2. Commissioned 23 December 1957 - Decommissioned 12 September 1986

    Struck from Naval Register 30 October 1986
    Disposed through NPSSRP 14 April 1994 to 6 March 1995

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 Skate SSN-578     (1957-2009)



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
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image


Locy Type SL3

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. S-49


Polar Ice Cap Cruise 1958


Locy Type F

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. S-49a


Polar Cruise Winter 1959


Locy Type FAKE

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. S-49b


Polar Ice Cap Cruise, signed by Commanding Officer.

USPS Pictorial Postmarks


Pictorial Postmark

"50th Anniversary

Groton CT


50th Anniversary of the North Pole Trip, cachet by Wolfgang Hechler


Pictorial Postmark

"50th Anniversary

Groton CT


50th Anniversary of the Polar Cruise Winter 1959, postmark mimics the device used in 1959. Cachet by Dieter Lange


Other Information

USS SKATE was awarded two Navy Unit Commendation ribbons for her polar explorations and research.

NAMESAKE - A salt water fish of the ray family, with a broad, flat body, and greatly developed pectoral fins that give the fish a rhomboidal shape.

Three submarines of the US Navy have borne the name SKATE - USS Skate SS-23, USS Skate SS-305 and USS Skate SSN-578.

The submarines sponsor was Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss, wife of Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss (31 January 1896 – 21 January 1974) who was an American businessman, philanthropist, public official, and naval officer. He was a major figure in the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in the United States.



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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