USS Fort Lauderdale coat of arms featured on July 30 postmark
Postmark Pursuit by Molly Goad
A postmark has been used for the commissioning of the United States Navy’s newest amphibious transport dock ship, USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28).
Amphibious transport dock ships, also called landing platform docks, are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
The pictorial postmark displays the ship’s coat of arms, which contains a shield, swords, an alligator and the “Together We Fight” motto.
The ship’s Facebook page shares the story behind the symbolism of this crest. The shield includes a fort with palm tree columns, a design taken from historical markers used throughout the city of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to denote points of interest. The three palms represent the city’s original three forts.
A trident symbolizes the USS Fort Lauderdale’s ability to strike from the sea. The alligator stands for the “Gator Navy,” a class of Navy ships, including landing platform docks, designed to support Marine Corps operations.
The four swords situated behind the shield are a U.S. Navy officer’s sword, Marine Corps officer’s Mameluke sword, Navy chief petty officer’s cutlass and a Marine Corps noncommissioned officer’s sword.
The USS Fort Lauderdale was commissioned July 30 in Fort Lauderdale. Speakers at the ceremony included Carlos Del Toro, secretary of the Navy; Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding; Gen. Eric Smith, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps; Dean Trantlis, mayor of Fort Lauderdale; and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The ceremony marked the official transition of the USS Fort Lauderdale into the fleet and ended a weeklong series of events celebrating the vessel and its namesake city.
USS Fort Lauderdale is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
To obtain the postmark, address your request to: USS FORT LAUDERDALE COMMISSIONING Station, Postmaster, 1900 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33310, July 30.
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