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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.

    John C. Butler Class Type WGT Destroyer Escort
    Keel Laid March 21 1944 - Launched May 20 1944

  1. USS WALTON DE-361
    Commissioned September 4 1944 - Decommissioned May 31 1946
    Recommissioned January 26 1951
    Assingned July 20 1958 to NRT 12th Naval District at San Francisco, Cal
    Activated October 1 1961 for the Berlin Crisis
    Deactivated August 1 1962 and returned to Naval Reserve Training
    Decommissioned September 20 1968

    Struck from Naval Register September 23 1968
    Sunk as target August 7 1969 off California

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     (1951-62)



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

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image

1st Commissioning September 4 1944 to May 31 1946


Locy Type
15956 Branch



2nd Commissioning January 26 1951 to September 20 1968


Locy Type


First Day Postal Service


Locy Type
2(n) (USS)




Locy Type




Locy Type




Other Information

WALTON earned two battle stars for her Korean War service

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons...
Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - China Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 star - Korea Service Medal w/ 2 stars - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal - UN Korean Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal

NAMESAKE - Merrit Cecil Walton USMC (December 18 1915 - August 7 1942)
Walton enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on May 19 1937 at San Francisco, Calif., and initially served at San Diego, Calif., before going to the Asiatic Station that autumn. As a member of the 4th Marine Regiment—quartered in the International Settlement of Shanghai, China—Walton witnessed part of the bloody battle that raged for that key city between Chinese and Japanese forces and, as such, was an early observer of Japanese aggression in the Far East. During his tour in China, he received promotion to Private, 1st Class, on May 10 1939. Returning to the United States in the autumn of 1940, Walton served successive tours of duty at the Marine barracks at Mare Island, Vallejo, Calif.; the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J.; Quantico, Va.; and New River, N.C. He was promoted to Sergeant on August 1 1941 and platoon sergeant on April 8 1942. Platoon Sergeant Walton was serving in a parachute battalion as part of the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) that was selected to land in the Solomons in August 1942. Companies A and B of that battalion landed on the island of Gavutu on the morning of August 7 1942. The enemy, already alterted by the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, met the marines' frontal assault with a withering fire. Although fully aware of the danger involved, Platoon Sergeant Walton volunteered to reconnoiter the position of a troublesome Japanese machine gun nest threatening his platoon's right flank. Once he had spotted the weapon's location, he led a daring attack during which the leathernecks silenced the gun. Mortally wounded, however, Platoon Sergeant Walton died later that same day. Posthumous awards accorded the sergeant included the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart, and a share of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced)



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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