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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.

    Clemson Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid March 27 1919 - Launched October 16 1919

    Commissioned October 29 1920

    Reclassified Sea Plane Tender (AVP) July 1 1938

    Reclassified Seaplane Tender/Destroyer (AVD) August 2 1940

    Reverted to Destroyer (DD) December 1 1943
    Planed conversion to High-speed Transport (APD-27) canceled July 10 1944
    Decommissioned November 8 1945

    Struck from Naval Register December 19 1945
    Sold October 30 1946 and broken up 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. Williamson Covers Page 1    (1930-35)



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
3 (A-TTB)



As AVP-15
Cachet by Dr. S. E. Hutnick
"Covers exist postmarked during 1938 for last and first day postal service for conversion to a seaplane tender, but postal service was officially continuous during conversion." (USCS Postmark Catalog)


Locy Type


As DD-244


Locy Type


USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. W-34a


As DD-244


Locy Type

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. W-34b


As DD-244


Locy Type

"AT /


As DD-244
Independence Day


Locy Type


As DD-244
Armistice Day 1934


Locy Type




Other Information

WILLIAMSON earned four battle stars for her World War II service

NAMESAKE - William Price Williamson (August 1884 - August 17 1918)
Williamson was appointed Midshipman on June 29 1903 and graduated from the Naval Academy with the class of 1907, in the advanced section of that class, on September 12 1906. Assigned to USS INDIANA Battleship No. 1, he landed from that ship at Kingston, Jamaica, in January 1907 and was cited by his commanding officer for his efficient work in a rescue party during fires resulting from an earthquake there. Williamson later joined USS KANSAS Battleship No. 21 and made the globe-girdling cruise of the "Great White Fleet" (1907-1908) in her before he was ordered to Washington, D.C., in March 1909 for "ordnance instruction." From there, he went to USS UTAH Battleship No. 31 in October of 1911. While in that dreadnought, he commanded the gun battery of UTAH's landing force during the landings at Veracruz, Mexico, in April 1914. Wiliamson inspected ordnance at the E. W. Bliss and Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1914 to 1916 before he joined USS GALVESTON Cruiser No. 17 on May 13 1916 for a brief tour of duty. He then journeyed to the Asiatic Station to become the Inspector of Ordnance and Powder at the Naval Magazine and Chemical Laboratory, Olongapo, P.I. (later called the Naval Ammunition Depot, Olongapo) on July 7 1916. Returning to the United States in the spring of 1918, he was assigned duty assisting in the fitting out of USS ORIZABA Id. No. 1536 and became the ship's first Executive Officer when that transport was commissioned. Williamson then worked closely with the ship's Commanding Officer, Capt. R. Drace White, another ordnance expert, in developing a workable depth charge thrower for use on board transports, in the hope of providing them with some measure of protection of their own. Wiliamson's invention was a modified Lyle gun (one used for line-throwing in rescue operations). In the first test on August 16 1918, the crude depth charge projector hurled a 50-pound charge approximately 150 feet. However, before using their creation in actual operations against submarines trailing her convoy, the two officers wanted at least one more test with a larger propellant charge. Accordingly, on August 17 1918, they commenced another experiment, one that proved to be a disaster. Williamson fired the gun, but a defective fuse caused the depth charge to explode prematurely, killing him instantly. The blast knocked Capt. White to the deck (with a broken jaw, broken knee, and flesh wounds),and killed three sailors. In addition, four other officers and 22 other enlisted men were wounded in the tragic explosion. For his work, however, Williamson was awarded The Navy Cross posthumously



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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