Page 22: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (September 2018)

Maritime Port & Ship Security

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A boy’s f

Cachet Covers &


Like many boys, Charles. F. “Bud” but with very similar characteristics.

Kirby, Jr. loved ships. He had drawings, The newest of the six boats, Sealion, models, pictures, newspaper clippings, was attacked and damaged in the Philip- and scrapbooks. And, as his son, Don, pines on the opening day of the war with recently learned, he had cachet covers of Japan, and scuttled soon after. But the submarines. other ? ve served with distinction and

Bud would send stamped envelopes survived the war.

to the Electric Boat Company that he The author is a retired U.S. Navy had addressed to himself in Water- captain and Bud Kirby’s nephew.

town, Mass. These envelopes would be stamped with a commemorative ca- chet and then appropriately canceled at

Groton, Conn., where the EB shipyard was located, or on the ship if it had been commissioned.

Each ship has its own post of? ce, and its own cancellation stamp. During the war ships used a more generic “U.S.

Navy” cancellation for security rea- sons.

The hobby of collecting ship cov- ers started in the 1930s. They were issued for events such as keel lay- ing, launching and commissioning.

Organizations such as the Ameri- can Naval Cancellation Society (ANCS) and Universal Ship Can- cellation Society (USCS) promot- ed the hobby. For Kirby, his collection is small, and not necessarily rare or espe- cially valuable, but says a lot about his general fascination with ships.

After high school, Kirby would spend time aboard real naval ships. His col- lege education at Boston College was in- terrupted by the war. He enlisted in the

Marine Corps and became a radio-tail gunner on SBD Dauntless dive bomb- ers at Guadalcanal and the South Paci? c.

He spent time on aircraft carriers and transports. After the war he completed his education at UCLA and lived in Cali- fornia and Washington. He passed away in 2010.

“My dad kept these in the safe deposit box in an envelope labeled “Bud’s per- sonal momentos,” said Don.

Kirby’s collection are of pre-war sub- marines, but all of them would serve in the Paci? c, like him. They were the sub- marines Salmon, Seal, Skipjack, Sargo,

Seadragon and Sealion. They represent several different classes of submarines, 22 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • SEPTEMBER 2018

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