Submarines continued page 4

Collecting Submarine Covers – Page 4 of 4
by Ned Harris (USCS # 3608)

On March 17, 1959 the U.S.S. Skate (SSN-578), under the command of Commander James F. Calvert, became the first submarine to break through the ice and surface at the North Pole. It’s commemorative mail received a special one day cancel and cachet, creating one of the most elusive covers of submarine North Pole postal history (no collector mail is believed to have been carried on this classified trip).


Cover carried aboard U.S.S. Skate when she was the first to surface at the North Pole

The U.S.S. Triton (SSN-586) was commissioned on 10 Nov 1959 under the command of Edward L. (Ned) Beach. Triton put to sea on her shakedown cruise on 15 Feb 1960, bound for the South Atlantic. She arrived in the middle Atlantic off St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks on 24 February to commence a history-making voyage. Having remained submerged since her departure from the east coast, Triton continued on south towards Cape Horn, rounded the tip of South America, and headed west across the Pacific. After transiting the Philippines and Indonesian archipelagoes and crossing the Indian Ocean, she rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived off St. Peter and St. Paul rocks on 10 April – 60 days and 21 hours after departing the mid-ocean landmark. She arrived back in Groton on 10 May, having completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the earth.

Cover carried aboard U.S.S. Triton on the first submerged circumnavigation.


The history of the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet is most interesting and collecting submarine covers is a great way to document their accomplishments.


View an exhibit of naval covers:
A History of the Submarines Built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard
By Steve Shay (Member #10,821) of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society


To view a list of United States submarines lost during World War 2:

This list is page 1 and 2 of Data Sheet #2 published by the Universal Ship Cancellation Society.  This data sheet also includes a list of U.S. submarine disasters during peacetime, a list of ships supporting Operation Crossroads as well as the target list, Operation Highjump information, Operation Inland Seas information and a list of battleships of the US Navy. This Data Sheet is available for sale from the Universal Cancellation Society.

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