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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.

    Screw Steamer (Collier)
    Built 1881 as SS LAMINGTON for Renton & Co., Glasgow, Scotland
    Launched 24 August 1881
    Ownership transferred in 1885 to Raeburn & Verel
    Ownership transferred in 1896 to Black Diamond Transportation Co., Boston
    Sold to the U.S. Navy in April 1898

  1. USS STERLING (Collier)
    Commissioned 16 April 1898 - Decommissioned 1 March 1899
    Recommissioned 1902 - Decommissioned 1904
    Placed in Reserve 13 May 1908 - Recommissioned 24 November 1908
    Placed out of Service 9 August 1913 - Recommissioned 2 February 1916
    Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) 9 January 1918
    Decommissioned 7 July 1919

    Struck from Naval Register 3 August 1919
    Sold to F & H Starr, New York City 15 September 1919
    Resold in 1919 Anglo-South American Bank, Valparaiso, Chile
    Renamed SS Llai Llai, reflagged, Chilean
    Sunk by collision with Chilean navy cruiser O'Higgins, 11 March 1920, in Iquique harbor

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     (DATE RANGE)



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



USPO Flag Cancel

Portsmouth NH


GregCiesielski Sterling 19091203 1 SLMarking.jpg
GregCiesielski Sterling 19091203 1 Front.jpg

Sailors Mail, postcard.


Other Information

USS STERLING earned the following awards during her Naval career - Spanish Campaign Medal and the World War I Victory Medal (with Transport clasp).

NAMESAKE - Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper.

There has been two ships of the US Navy that have borne the name STERLING - USS Sterling (Collier) and USS Sterling YP-449/IX-201.



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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