Commons:Categories for discussion/2013/08/ Naming categories for individual naval and fishing ships

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Naming categories for individual naval and fishing ships[edit]

If an image of a certain naval or fishing ship has to be categorised in Wikimedia Commons, these ships are hard to find if the name of the vessel is not found on the image. Most names of naval and fishing ships have only relatively small carved or painted nameplates, hardly to find on images. However: they have large numbers painted on the hull. By obligation. The pennant number and the fishing license number is painted in big letters/numbers on the hull to serve as a quick recognition marker. We have to realise that we are talking about naming categories, not naming ships. You don't find a ship just in a category named by the pennant number or fishing license only .

It has a name too, so also the name is an identifier. But certain shipnames are used many times, also for naval and fishing ships. The easyest way of making a difference was to add a date in the naming system. The English Wikipedia uses the year of launch, a number of other wikipedias use the year of first commisioning or year of completion. As for very old ships the year of launching is seldom mentioned but the date of first commissioning or completion is. The year of first commisioning or completion the best criterium for this international project.

That is the reason why more and more of these ships are categorised: by the indication (pennant number in many cases, Russian ships have no real pennant number) or "fishing license", "shipname" ("ship", "tugboat" or "submarine", "year of completion (or first commissioning for naval ships)", "place of built") when name and year for the vessel are the same). See Category:Ships by pennant number and Category:Fishing vessels by license number.

HMAS Wagga (041254).jpg
HMAS Wagga Ship Badge.jpg

Assume you are a user who finds an image like this somewhere, outside Wikipedia. You want to find more images. In commons you start looking for "J315" and you find the ship. That is the system. And if you are familiar with pennant numbers, you go to Category:Ships with pennant number 315 and you find the ship. The other way around: You are looking for HMAS Wagga. The redirect brings you immediately to category J315 Wagga (ship, 1942). In case there were more Waga's, you'll find them by year of first commisioning or completion, depending on naval or civil.

According that simple system most naval and fishing ships were categorised. Recategorised categories were always directing to the old categories, so images of ships could be found by different systems. I am not aware of any comment on the system for fishing ships.

But a problem rises with the names of British Commonwealth naval ships (and I assume also for US naval ships). I realise that inclusion of HMS, HMAS etc. prefix is an important British Commonwealth cultural thing. It is unthinkable to refer to British, Australian Canadian etc. warships as anything else but HMS xyz, HMAS xyz etc. I know that. But: It has nothing to do with this international project of Wikimedia Commons. Here is important that images can be found, in an international way.

It is not more than normal than that the local Wikipedia's follow their own standard. But users of the English Wikipedia want to insist of using their local naming system in this international project. A number of them thinks that the name of a naval vessel includes a prefix. In my opinion that is not correct. If you look at the nameplate of a naval vessel or her ships badge, you don't find a prefix. Of course in literature these prefixes are used, independent of the language. But that is not the case here. Prefixes of shipnames like SS, S/S, MS, M/S and so on are widely used in literature, but language dependent and not used in category names in Commons. Unless in the name, as in M/S RHEINLAND.

As prefixes are not part of the name of a ship, civil, naval, fishing or whatsoever, they must not be used in name categories of ships. The can always be found via redirects, if the majority of the users think this is useful. Recategorised categories have such a redirect already. In my view prefixes like HMS, HMAS and so on are to be left out of the name category of a ship.

Besides: Prefixes of US ships change from time to time, as the function of the ship changes. USS XXX becomes USCGXXX where the XXX in the years can change. Ships are just numbered and during a vast period only the pennant number is painted on the ship. In the case of certain ships, such as some LSTs and submarines, they never received a "name" as such, but are known by the pennant number in the absence of anything better, so the pennant is the de facto name. Furthermore pennant numbers can change without any alterations to the ship or its ownership. This is not different from ships known by name. The only problem is, that no system exist like the IMO system, where a hull always keeps the IMO number and the link between the names can be found via the IMO number. We don't have a coupling mechanism. European barges have a simular system by ENI number, European Number of Identification.

If the conclusion of the discussion is, that we leave out all prefixes and the pennant numbers, the category scheme can allow search-by-pennant number easily enough. To use the "Enterprise example" - it could be in categories with names like "ships with pennant number 65", "US Navy ships with hull classification code CVN" and "US Navy ships with hull classification code CVAN". The pennant information for ships that have a name too doesn't need to be in the category name to allow non-experts to use the categories. These categories allow for appropriate searching by people who are unfamiliar with the ships. Remember also, if the only thing a person knows about a photo of a ship is that it has "65" on its side, they cannot ID it from that alone, but need further information.

  • Summary: Naming of categories of naval and fishing ships is according the same system as for all other ships:
  1. no prefixes, unless they are part of the shipname according the nameplate;
  2. the category name starts with what is painted on the ship, the pennant number, the fishing license number or similar, followed by her shipname;
  3. the number and shipname are followed in brackets by the year of first commissioning or of completion. If not found, any other determinating year like the year of launch;
  4. to make it easier for users, make a redirect if the ship is widely known under her prefix together with her shipname.

Examples: Category:Naval ships of the Bundeswehr by name and Category:Fishing vessels by license number.

--Stunteltje (talk) 20:16, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Your lengthy message makes it unclear what you are proposing. I can see three elements of information here: The plain name of the ship (stripped of any prefix), the prefix and a classification number (whether that's IMO, Fishing registration, military pennant, or anything else). There are three options I can see here (each with merits):
  1. Use the plain name only
  2. Use the prefix plus the plain name
  3. Use the classification number plus the plain name
My personal preference for the English-speaking navies is 2, 1, 3. These navies are exceptional, as they are referred to with the same prefix in many languages and those prefixes are much more heavily used.
I'd point out just because a number to identify the ship is painted on its hull, does not mean we should use it as the category name. For instance I'm not happy with this being in Category:17-35 RNLB Sybil Mullen Glover (ship, 2003). 17-35 is a classification number, RNLB is a prefix, the boat's plain name is the "Sybil Mullen Glover".--Nilfanion (talk) 21:19, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
The prefixes of the Commonwealth and US Navies are different to those of other navies (and civilians). The key difference is they are language independent and are invariably used when discussing these ships - they aren't used in English only. These Dutch, German, French, Italian press releases, this Russian - the claim HMS/USS/HMAS/... is somehow language dependent is flat wrong. In contrast to the Anglo-American navies, prefixes are not used in the same consistent way by European navies. Because of the dominance of the English-speaking navies in NATO, English-style prefixes (like HMNLS or worse still FS) were adopted for reporting purposes in English, but this didn't affect usage in the navies own language. Likewise, civilian ships are generally known without their prefix - the ship that hit an iceberg in 1912 is usually known as just 'the Titanic'. This means there is a strong case for using USS, HMS, etc.
If information is not part of the subject's name it shouldn't be used as a category name (unless used for disambiguation, in commas or parentheses). Thie means pennant numbers on military ships should not be used as part of the category name either, unless in brackets, as they are not the ship's name in any way shape or form. They are used to identify the ship, and its trivial to work out the name which goes with the number. The fact its written on the side of the ship in big characters is besides the point. Its no more part of a ship's name, than the large legible letters on the side of this ship - or its IMO number. In all cases, a minimum level of research by the uploader is reasonable to expect.
Furthermore, pennant numbers change and may not match the number on the ships hull. HMS Cavalier (R73) had two distinct numbers (R73 and D73) in service. To make things worse the number on the hull, is not the identifying code in all navies. The w:pennant number#international pennant numbers used by many nations is the full identifying code of the ship and is painted on the hull. In the equivalent systems of the US Navy, RCN and RAN, only the number is. The full code (eg DDG-73) is unambiguously the correct code to use for USS Decatur, and like all US Navy ships, is incorporated into the ship's badge. Only 73 is painted on the hull, yet the ship is always without exception referred to as DDG-73 when the code is used, and this is never shorted to 73, ever.--Nilfanion (talk) 09:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Looking for "73" in Commons it took one mouseclick to find Category:73 (number), two clicks for Category:Ships with pennant number 73 and three for Category:USS Decatur (DDG-73). (The mentioned badge is a version in literature, not shown on the ship.)
There are three Decaturs in the Commons categories. Naming according the system used for all other ships gives:
Decatur (ship, 1813)
936 Decatur (ship, 1956)
73 Decatur (ship, 1998)
sorted via {{DEFAULTSORT:Name (ship, year)}}
System no problem at all for fishing ships, so for naval ships it is a cultural item.

--Stunteltje (talk) 09:59, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

So what? We don't use category names for the convenience of our uploaders, but what is actually correct. Calling that ship "73 Decatur" would just be a complete fabrication, no better than calling commercial ships - like my example above "Britanny Ferries Pont-Aven" or "9268708 Pont-Aven". Calling it plain "Decatur" is something I'd disagree with but it isn't wholly unreasonable name.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:06, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
We use category names for ... what is actually correct - provided there is a "correct" name.
However, our choice of category names needs also take into account what kind of name(s) image-users will look/search for, as the true purpose of categorization is to make our media findable — just as a general remark, as I have no knowledge in ship-names. --Túrelio (talk) 10:12, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I know. Ships like place have names, and may have codes associated with them, the distinction between name and code is clear enough. Its arguable if the prefix is part of the name or not. But the pennant is clearly and emphatically not part of the name. Calling that ship "73 Decatur" is something contrived and not used anywhere else. Compare Google searches for Decatur ship, "USS Decatur", "73 Decatur". Piling non-name information at the front, due to limitations of Wikimedia's search engine and HotCat isn't the right approach is it?--Nilfanion (talk) 10:21, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
The point I'm trying to get across here is its not the prefix that bothers me. Its the addition of the pennant (or even worse partial pennant) that is the real issue. "Decatur (ship, 1998)" is a much more palatable option than "73 Decatur (ship, 1998)". By contrast the issue with prefix is much more minor. And comparing warships to fishing boats is comparing chalk to cheese...--Nilfanion (talk) 10:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
The claim that "prefixes are not part of the name" of British Commonwealth-style and US warships is ill-informed, and totally wrong. As evidence, please see the list of historic ship names maintained by the Royal Australian Navy [1], the current ship names used by the Royal Navy [2], Royal Canadian Navy [3] and Royal New Zealand Navy [4] as well as the the various official lists of active US Navy warships available via [5]. Books, magazines and news reports also follow this practice with very few exceptions. As demonstrated by these websites, the prefixes are actually part of the common way of referring to the ships, and removing them from the categorizations makes no sense, and would hinder the ability of people to access images of these ships. Nick-D (talk) 08:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
See #1 Not on the nameplates. And we are talking about a system in Commons to find images the easy way. As described. --Stunteltje (talk) 08:48, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Don't know whose side of the argument it helps, but the warship prefix appears in items like ship's bells (e.g USS Canberra), the builder's plaque (HMAS Onslow), battle honour boards (HMAS Hobart), and the gangway (HMAS Manoora, HMS Bangor). -- saberwyn 13:20, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Even the British are not consequent. Have a look at Monitor M33 in drydock. --Stunteltje (talk) 18:09, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
A pedantic point, but important, I think, is that USN hull numbers are not pennant numbers as used elsewhere in the world and generally only change when a ship's role is changed or its original classification is changed (like when DLGs were renamed as CGs in the 1970s). Pennant numbers, especially early in the 20th century could, and did change at the drop of a hat. I much prefer year of launch for those ships that use pennant numbers as that's a stable datum. So I would reject any attempt to put pennant numbers up front. IMO, it should run (prefix) (name) (hull number/year of launch/pennant number).--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:05, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Given that there are many movies, TV series, books, etc. based on military ships, so they have the same name, I'd prefer all categories to use the format "name (ship, year)". The pennant can be added in the category description, so they can be found when searching for this number in the Category namespace. Best regards, Alpertron (talk) 22:01, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Firstly fishing boats and Naval vessel are two completely different subjects what works for one does not necessarily translate or relate to the other the actual naming of each has no relation to each other in the wider world, even within individual countries.
  • the significance of prefix of HMS, HMAS, HMNZS etc in the name of naval vessels is paramount one only has to google the likes of HMAS Sydney[6] to see it usage, it also goes beyond the time it sailed see HMAS Sydney memorial[7] to refer to the HMAS Sydney and every person looking for HMAS Sydney photographs will be searching for HMAS Sydney, also all our GLAM partners have an expectation that we will make these images readily available they dont hide their photographs under pennant numbers or composite names that nobody would search for. By all means have pennant number categories, as someone working with Loyyds ships registry will know what these and be able to search by them. Every vessel and facility of the Australian Navy uses the HMAS prefix in its title being HMAS Sydney, HMAS Cerbrus, HMAS Stirling so categorising using the name is consistant with naming policy, if fact a part of our strict renaming policy is for consistancy.
  • Now lets look at Fishing boats see
    Fishing Boat Harbour
    all of these fishing boats have their name clearly displayed, and their license number is in a yellow box midships on the hull, some also have a prefix in their name but as a group they have no consistancy even though each of the boats are part of Kailis fleet of trawler and that while Kailis may name for consistancy I cant see it, nor would I expect the naming to continue with ownership changes so the use of license number or hull number makes sense as that the constant.
I have some experience in categorising images of ships in Commons, more than 100.000, I assume. You are right with these mentioned vessels. But with most of them you cannot read the name and have to find it via the number. I spent much time to find the name of each ship, as even the licenses are given to different ships over the years. So it helps very much to include a year in the category name. As I found out for old ships via the year of completion is the best way of categorising. --Stunteltje (talk) 08:00, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
  • as explain for Naval vessel I Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose the removal of the HMAS foo categories from images as its consistant and what real people will be looking for, its also culturally significant, extends beyond just the vessel an has interrelationships with other names, has historical importance and is something that our GLAM partners also use to identify these vessels. For fishing vessels hull/license numbers are the only constant but I again see no reason why the vessels name cant itself be categorised as its a feature of the vessel and from the photograph something thats readily identifiable. What hasnt been demonstrated is that a composite name that has the hull number included has any relationships to what people actually understand, and actually search for, but it does make a useful method to disambiguate names for non-naval vessels to which year of commissioning isnt common knowledge. Gnangarra 01:14, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I try to make clear that my intention is to make it as easy as possible for any user to find images of certain ships in Commons. My statement is that incorporating the identifying number (any), that is in most cases largely painted on a ship to identify her, in a category name makes it work. We have to pass cultural feelings, I am afraid. As stated in the summary: to make it even easier for users, make a redirect if the ship is widely known under her prefix together with her shipname. That is what I do for recategorised ships. --Stunteltje (talk) 08:00, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
The issue is you are looking at it backwards. Category names are there to help people find images of the subject they are after, not make it easier to upload images of something (when you may not know its identity). Names should be what people might actually look for - I might come here looking for a frigate "knowing" its called USS Decatur. There will be a few choices, but the date and pennant will guide me to the one I want (the prefix makes it easier, but I'd find without it). I will not be looking for "73 Decatur" because the ship is not called that ever.--Nilfanion (talk) 08:33, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
There is no problam at all if images of any ship are uploaded with a category name that is not in line with the described system. We still have a lot of them nowadays. If we get a consensus they will be recategorised in line and get a redirect. It is not my intention to do that by bot, automatically. So it will take a few years to make the changes. After my holidays I found more than 200 ships in Category:Ships and also these ships will be categorised as much as possible by name in the coming time. In Dutch we have an expression that says: "Cologne and Aachen are not built in a day". --Stunteltje (talk) 08:52, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but the system calls for an artificial construct used nowhere else. If you think "73 Decatur" is easier to find when uploading pics of that ship, then that should redirect TO a category name useful for people looking for images of it (who will know the name, but not know the number - they don't have an image). As opposed to a redirect FROM a useful and valid name.--Nilfanion (talk) 08:59, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
If hull numbers are so well knowm then the category:73 Decatur should actualy just be category:73 and every one would know exactly what that is, and we just add the incidental ship name in the description.

A possibly dummy note: in case consensus goes for minimal category-names (i.e., without prefix, pennant or whatever), it is always possible to put additional identifying information simply into the respective category description. AFAIK, the MW-search does also use this information. --Túrelio (talk) 09:15, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

This is proposal is to apply what was a decision to drop the prefix over renaming of dutch vessels with the change in prefix due to a change in the head of state and then apply that to everybody else, but HM doesnt change for Commonwealth countries even when the head state changes between His Majesty & Her Majesty as evident by its continued use for over 300 years. Gnangarra 06:07, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
The main thing is that HMS/HMAS/HMCS is just not part of the name of the vessel. It is a prefix and a matter of culture. In literature it is unthinkable to refer to British, Australian Canadian etc. warships as anything else but HMS xyz, HMAS xyz etc. No problem at all. But here in this international project we have to use the name of the vessel to categorise her.
I can live with leaving out all prefixes with (pennant or similar) numbers for naval vessels and - as suggested by Túrelio - put additional identifying information simply into the respective category description. For the ships with such a prefix it can be done by bot, I assume. That gives:

Summary for naval ships: Naming of categories is according the same system as for all other ships:

  1. no prefixes, unless they are part of the shipname according the nameplate;
  2. the shipname followed in brackets by the year of first commissioning or of completion. If not found, any other determinating year like the year of launch;
  3. to make it easier for users, make a redirect if the ship is widely known under her prefix together with her shipname. --Stunteltje (talk) 07:03, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
So what you acknowledge is its unthinkable to refer to Australian , British, New Zealand, etc naval ships as anything but with the HM prefix, therefore as it unthinkable to refer to these ships as anything but its imperative that Commons being an International project must lead the way in categorise these vessel by something else. Gnangarra 10:23, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
This whole discussion suggests a WP:IDONTLIKEIT on the part of one user, and seems to smack of a suggestion that needs far more consideration than an on-going argument with one or two other editors here. It needs a much wider discussion, with considerable input by others, and not the few who are discussing here sats (talk) 08:08, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Stunteltje, it's a shame that you've paid no attention to the editors pointing out the major problems with your proposal, and are sticking to miss-analysis of a handful of photos to support your position. Nick-D (talk) 05:46, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
It is a shame, indeed, but just that no other than only a few users out of the same group are taking part in this discussion. I asked input from Meta, but that will take time. --Stunteltje (talk) 08:28, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
You're clearly in denial and wanting to push what you want and not listening to the community that it effects. Again, HMAS plays a huge role as part of the name. As stated at the AN/U discussion and here, the RAN's own site uses HMAS on its site for current and past ships. Bidgee (talk) 12:56, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
(Meta) Discussion in Commons lacks international comments Facepalm. You clearly want to push though your category ideals by selective quotes with no diffs (nor permission from the contributors quoted out of context), no link to the discussion, and Australia may be part of the British Monarchy, but we're Australian and not British (last time I looked, we had our own Government (not British BTW) and I had an Australian passport). Bidgee (talk) 13:10, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • In stead of arguing ad hominem, you all better do some homework:

(1) UK armed forces in http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.nl/2011/06/news-060211.html

With the ritual words “I name this ship Protector. May God bless her and all who sail in her.” Beverly Mathews, the wife of Vice Admiral Andrew Mathews (the MOD’s Chief of Materiel – Fleet) and now the sponsor of HMS Protector, did officially name the new (interim, at least for now) Ice Patrol Ship of the Royal Navy.

(2) Another in http://newaircraftseries.blogspot.nl/2009_02_01_archive.html

"I name this ship Astute. May God bless her and all who sail in her," she said, before pulling a lever to break the beer bottle against the submarine's hull.

(3) Australia in http://www.defence.gov.au/news/navynews/editions/5015/topstories.htm

God bless Maryborough. Her hands trembled a little but Marilyn Burgess took the scissors and firmly cut the ribbon moments after she had pronounced the words, “I name this ship Maryborough, may God bless her and all who sail in her.”

(4) New Zealand in http://navy.mil.nz/visit-the-fleet/pukaki/default.htm

PUKAKI, the third of the four Inshore Patrol Vessels built entirely in New Zealand by Tenix in Whangarei, was launched in Whangarei Harbour on Tuesday 6 May. PUKAKI was formally named on Saturday, 10 May, and with these words “I name this ship PUKAKI and may god bless her and all who sail in her”, Launch Lady Mrs Alison Roxburgh cut the ribbon releasing the champagne bottle on to PUKAKI’s bow. This is another significant step under Project Protector. The first ship, the Multi-role Vessel, HMNZS CANTERBURY, was commissioned into the Navy in June 2007. The first Offshore Patrol Vessel, OTAGO, was launched in Williamstown in November 2006 and sister ship, WELLINGTON, was welcomed into the RNZN fleet on June 2010.

(5) South Africa in *http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol145il.html

There to meet the crew when they came alongside were their own Officer Commanding, the OCs of the local units, the Mayor of Langebaan, and other local dignitaries, while SAS Flamingo had made a charming effort at decorating the jetty and giving a welcoming party for their arrival. After a few speeches, Cdr Keith Meyer, the OC of SAS Flamingo, asked Mrs Susan van Loggerenberg, the wife of the Officer Commanding the Military Academy, to christen the ship. This she graciously consented to do and the highlight of the week was reached when, in a clear voice, she pronounced, 'I name this ship P1558. May God bless her and all who sail in her' - the traditional prayer. With one clean swing of a heavy chipping hammer, she thereupon broke a bottle of champagne over the ship's bows. In actual fact the ship also received the unofficial name of Susan in keeping with the tradition at SAS Flamingo to name all their launches rather than just using the prosaic numbers allocated to them by the Navy. --Stunteltje (talk) 06:25, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
The only ad hominem is coming from you, your selective picking of quotes and sources to suit your own poorly founded argument. As pointed out HMAS is part of the name. Fleet Review 2013, Navy News... I could go on! Bidgee (talk) 06:37, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
The page provided on Pukari is actually titled "HMNZS PUKAKI - P3568".... Also, Stunteltje has confused the naming ceremony of the vessels with their commissioning ceremony. The naming ceremony is held when the ship is still under construction, and the vessel ends up being officially designated something like "NUSHIP Maryborough" in the Royal Australian Navy (which is what the link Stunteltje provided above actually calls the ship at this point) as it is not yet part of the Navy, and is typically still the property of its builder. When the ship is complete and accepted into service and her crew have completed their initial training a commissioning ceremony is held in which the "HMAS" prefix is formally added, and is then consistently used (though popular media and most works of history tend to add the "HMAS" as soon as the naming ceremony is held). Nick-D (talk) 10:48, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately I haven't found yet a script of commisioning a New Zealand ship, but have found one of the US naval ship Ospray. Please read the commisioning script of the Ospray: http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/o/osprey/comm.pdf and pay attention to the naming on page 7: "AS DIRECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY AND FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I HEREBY PLACE THE UNITED STATES SHIP OSPREY EN COMMISSION. GOD BLESS AND GODSPEED TO ALL WHO SAIL IN HER." No prefix in the name, even in US naval ships. --Stunteltje (talk) 15:04, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
In fact it does state that, "UNITED STATES SHIP OSPREY" = USS. Bidgee (talk) 15:09, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
O.K., in abbreviation. You are right on the US ships. --Stunteltje (talk) 15:15, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Via an answer from the Australian ambassy in The Hague I got an answer form the Historic Naval Ships Association. I think an answer from specialists. From: DWinkler@navyhistory.org, CC: CCreekman@navyhistory.org, Sent: 8/27/2013 11:37:34 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Subj: RE: Feedback Form:
In the USN the ship is named and gets the USS at the time of commissioning and loses the USS at decomm. But USS does not become part of the name hence only the name is italicized: USS Indianapolis.
and J. Nilsson, HNSA added:
An answer regarding US ships. I would presume the same holds true for Australian ships.
Hope to receive another specialist answer soon. --Stunteltje (talk) 18:56, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm not really sure if this is pertinent area to investigate. Its not the formal name of the subject, but the most recognisable and commonly used name, that is the basis of article naming on the Wikipedias (not just en). Commons category names tend to follow the WP conventions - which combined with the "Use English" rule tends to mean we follow enwp. This can be seen with, for example Category:United Kingdom (not Category:United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Category:Bill Clinton (not Category:William Jefferson Clinton).
One area where Commons diverges from WP practice is biological taxons. In that case, animals may have multiple common names (even in 1 language), and can be very different between languages. That's not true with the ships in question here, the US Navy ship designated CVN-68 is normally called "USS Nimitz" in most languages.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:07, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I received an answer from two naval specialists:

Regarding your email below, the simple answer to your question is that yes, the prefix 'HMAS' does become part of the ship's name upon commissioning. However, the HMAS prefix does not need to be used every time that ship is referred to. For instance, the convention in the Royal Australian Navy is to include the HMAS prefix the first time a particular ship is mentioned, but not anytime thereafter. So in your example, we would initially refer to HMAS Maryborough, and then simply refer to her as Maryborough thereafter. Similarly, the HMAS prefix is dropped after a ship decommissions.
I hope that this helps.
Kind regards,
Mr Petar Djokovic, Navy History Officer, Naval History Section, Sea Power Centre - Australia, 1A Dairy Road, Fyshwick, Department of Defence, PO Box 7942, CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

and another today from his counterpart in the Dutch ministery of Defence, Dr. A.A. (Alan) Lemmers, Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie:

Het schip krijgt zijn Koninklijke prefix op het moment van indienststelling: in de tijd tussen de doop en de indienststelling wordt de naam zonder prefix gebezigd. Na de laatste uitdienststelling vervalt meteen ook de prefix (NB logement- en wachtschepen konden vroeger nog onder militair commando staan en hun prefix behouden, maar de tijd van logementschepen is voorbij) – dit alles conform de Circulaire Zeemacht 1569cc artikel 32. Zo mag bijvoorbeeld het museumschip de Tonijn (de driecilinder onderzeeboot van het Marinbemuseum in Den Helder) niet langer de prefix voeren. In het verleden verloor het schip in periodes van tijdelijke uitdienststelling (voor onderhoud e.d.) ook telkens tijdelijk zijn prefix, maar tegenwoordig doet men dat anders en blijft de prefix van kracht. (informatie van CZSK)
In de maritiem-historische literatuur worden de spellingsregels van de circulaire niet slaafs overgenomen. Voor de leesbaarheid van een tekst is het daar al sinds jaar en dag gewoonte de naam van een schip (marine of koopvaardij) cursief weer te geven en niet in hoofdletters. In teksten wordt het prefix Hr.Ms. (of tegenwoordig Zr.Ms.) wel conform de marineregels gehanteerd, tenzij de auteur niet van de conventie op de hoogte is, maar daar zou een eindredacteur op moeten letten. Meestal wordt de prefix de eerste keer dat de naam van een marineschip wordt vermeld conform de regels gebruikt, daarna kan hij in dezelfde tekst weggelaten worden, al kan hij ook opnieuw gebruikt worden: de keuze is aan de auteur. Bij foto-onderschriften gebruiken wij de prefix altijd, tenzij ook daar de naam twee of meer keer wordt genoemd.

So Nilfanion is right about the naming after commissioning. My excuses. I was convinced but misleaded by the christioning-procedure. --Stunteltje (talk) 16:30, 2 September 2013 (UTC)