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USS Claxton

January 2006 Cover of the Month

By Steve Shay (USCS L-10,821)

This cover marked New Years Day in 1939, cancelled aboard the USS Claxton. The Claxton was a Wickes class destroyer built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. The Claxton was one of 16 destroyers built at Mare Island between 1916 and 1921. Many of these destroyers went into service and then were quickly put into mothballs following the end of World War I.

The Claxton was no different, launched in 1919, commissioned in the same year and decommissioned in 1922. After leading a slow life wasting away on lead row, Claxton was recommissioned in 1930. Claxton served in various locations including the west coast, Cuba and New Orleans. She was assigned as a training ship for midshipmen at the US Naval Academy in 1936 and 1937, when this cover was cancelled.

Claxton would go on to fame as one of the Famous 50 destroyers traded to England for use of air bases in the United Kingdom. She was decommissioned in the US Navy on December 5, 1940 and transferred to the Royal Navy on the same day. After serving on convoy duty as a an escort, the destroyer, re-named HMS Salisbury, was then transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and later put into maintenance in late 1943. She was sold in 1944 for scrap.

This New Years cachet was drawn by Irene Griffith of Topeka, Kansas. Irene was USCS member 764 as well as a member of the American Naval Cancellation Society (ANCS.) She hand drew cachets for a period from 1935-1939. This particular cachet is drawn in ink and colored with colored pencils. Her covers were produced in limited quantities.

The “Nu Year (Co)” is marching in!

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Cover of the Month:
USS Tutuila (PR-4)
Cover by
Steve Shay (#L-10821)
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