uss pennsylvania scan

Posted by Jim Dolbow in History

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  • LCDR Glenn L. Smith, USN (Ret)

    The 1100+ members of one of the Navy’s strongest supporters, the Universal Ship Cancellation Society (USCS) will love this testimonial naval cover (an envelope cancelled aboard a Navy ship or station). (Note: Our society’s name is somewhat misleading, we are NOT for cancellting ships, but rather the study of naval history through the collecting of postal artifacts.) Our story is told at:

  • CAPT P.M. Leenhouts USN (Ret)

    Jim, Thanks very much for posting the pictures of PENNSYLVANIA and CUMMINGS’s Thanksgiving envelopes.

    USNI members may be interested to know that the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, whose international members collect and study such envelopes, was founded in 1932 and is one of the oldest postal history study societies in the world.

    The Society is interested in current and historical ship’s postmarks and envelopes including Navy ships (and embarked aircraft squadrons) of all countries, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy bases, merchant ships with seapost and paquebot markings, related cachets, and other naval memorabilia.

    It is the only organization in the United States devoted to Navy and maritime envelopes and markings.

    I’ve been a life member since my first command tour back in the early 1990’s, and, with a broad range of Society friends in the US, Europe, and Japan, have enjoyed pursuing my interests in the study of US Navy, Imperial Japanese Navy and Maritime Self Defense Force ships, and mine countermeasures ships for the past twenty years.

    Pete Leenhouts
    Member, Universal Ship Cancellation Society (USCS)

  • Jim, that’s a nice envelope or cover as collectors refer to it. During the 1930’s, a number of postal clerks aboard US Navy ships belonged to the Universal Ship Cancellation Society and helped to create these covers for collectors. It was common to have covers made up commemorating holidays; New Years Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Columbus Day, Christmas. Thanksgiving covers were made but were not as common as those for Christmas or the 4th of July. At one time in the 1930’s, 32 members of the USS Pennsylvania were members of the USCS, including 2 officers. I’m sure they all enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner in 1938!

  • Capt LB Brennan USN ret

    This is an excellent example of a lasting holiday momento for Sailors, friends and families. I spent some remarkable holidays at sea and this brings back memories of shipmates – mostly good. It also helps ships’ LS (ex PC) and PAO understand a hobby that has existed nearly 80 years. Thanks for the glimpse into Naval History and Battleships in the prewar Navy.

  • Jim Dolbow

    Thanks so much for your comments. I am a brand new USCS member so I can use all the mentoring i can get. I hope to do more of these posts in the future

  • LCDR Glenn L. Smith, USN (Ret)

    Welcome aboard USCS, Jim.

    Your Pennsylvania cover struck a chord with me. While I have several interests, one of my favorites is naval covers fron ships named for Pennsylvania places. In fact, I have a six-frane exhibit that has been in several stamp shows.

    My interest stems from the fact that I live in the southern Cumberland Vally, about 30 miles west of Gettysburg and 35 miles north of Antietam…which is another one of my interests…naval covers from USS Gettysburg & USS Antietam.

    For another lively chat room on the subject of naval coivers, visit us at http//

  • Larry Grow

    My dad was transferred from the U.S.S. Pennsylvania on 8 Nov 1938 to the U.S.S. Pensacola. He had served as Store Keeper 2nd Class. I note from his records (he is deceased) that his commander on the Pennsylvania was a Commander O. Nimitz. Question: Was this Commander related to the Admiral? I am trying to put together his Naval history. Thanks