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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.

    Sirius Class Cargo Ship
    Keel Laid June 15 1918
    Launched August 8 1918 as SHANNOCK
    Acquired by U.S. Navy November 16 1921 and renamed
    Laid up in Reserve Fleet January 1927 - February 28 1940

  1. USS SPICA AK-16
    Commissioned March 1 1940 - Decommissioned January 18 1946

    Struck from Naval Register February 7 1946
    Returned to Maritime Commission for disposal
    Sold June 13 1947 for scrap


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. Covers Page 1    (1940-45)



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
FDC 3r



First Day in Commission


Locy Type
FDC 9x


Postmark is not cataloged as being used on the First Day of Commissioning and it is not "tied" to the cover. Look closely, there is no postmark ink on the cover.


Locy Type
3r (A-BBT)



Cachet by Al Cohen for the Commissioning of SPICA on March 1 1940.


Locy Type
3r (A-BBT)



Christmas, cachet by the American Tuberculosis Association.


Locy Type
3r (A-BBT)


Cachet by M. Fay Muridge. Cachet sponsored by John Paul Jones Chapter No. 2, USCS


Locy Type
3r (A-BBT)




Locy Type
3z (BBT)


Censored wartime (WWII) use


Locy Type




Locy Type P
(3r with 4 bars
used after POD)




Locy Type Fz

USCS Catalog


Christmas, cachet by George V. Sadworth


Other Information

SPICA earned the following Awards during her Naval career - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (w 1 Battle star) - World War II Victory Medal.

NAMESAKE - A star of the first magnitude in the constellation Virgo.

Two ships of the US Navy have been named SPICA - USS Spica AK-16 and USNS Spica T-AFS-9.



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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