Postal History of the American Forces in China 1900-1941 (Text Content)

This web page, published by the Military Postal History Society, contains the text content of the single frame Postal History of the American Forces in China 1900-1941. This exhibit was created by, and is the property of the late Al Kugel, and is being supplied by his heirs as a courtesy to the Military Postal History Society.

Introduction Text

This exhibit documents through contemporary postal material the history of the American military forces in China from our participation in the multinational intervention to suppress the Boxer Uprising at the beginning of the 20th Century until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought us into World War II. The story gives emphasis to the large variety of postal markings used on mail from the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine personnel during the relevant period, although postal rates and routes are discussed where significant. Reflecting the rules developed during the Spanish-American War, cards and letters from the troops paid only the relevant domestic rates, at times even being handled without prepayment of postage, with the appropriate amount being collected from the addressee as postage due.

To view the exhibit page images, see: web page containing the image content of the exhibit frame.

Updated 11/11/2022

Text Content of Exhibit


This exhibit documents through contemporary postal material the history of the American military forces in China from our participation in the multinational intervention to suppress the Boxer Uprising at the beginning of the 20th Century until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought us into World War II. The story gives emphasis to the large variety of postal markings used on mail from the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine personnel during the relevant period, although postal rates and routes are discussed where significant. Reflecting the rules developed during the Spanish-American War, cards and letters from the troops paid only the relevant domestic rates, at times even being handled without prepayment of postage, with the appropriate amount being collected from the addressee as postage due.

Presentation of the material is divided into ten “chapters,” each of which represents a specific activity involving U.S. forces. These are developed chronologically, based on the beginning of each event as detailed in the Exhibit Plan on the following page. An attempt has been made to achieve reasonable balance between the events, but some chapters are clearly longer than others, which reflects the length of time involved and the number of men deployed.

Extraordinary official cover sent by Vice President Teddy Roosevelt from his home at Oyster Bay NY to Major Ives with the China Relief Expedition at Peking. On the reverse is an arrival marking of the “Mil. Postal Sta. No.1/China” dated 21 April 1901.

A substantial portion of the material displayed in this exhibit is extremely elusive, and it has required several decades to assemble this showing. In general, the size of the forces sent to China was quite modest, with the largest contingent being the 6,300 men during the Boxer period. In most of the other actions, the participants can be numbered from a couple of thousand down to a hundred or less. As a result, the supply of commercial mail actually sent by the troops is quite limited. Because the exhibit emphasizes earliest and latest known uses of many of the postmarks, it has been necessary in some cases to flesh out the showing with philatelically-created examples made up by collectors eager to obtain unusual postmarks from the other side of the world.

Plan of the Exhibit

This exhibit is presented in ten "chapters," each relating to a specific military activity. The arrangement is chronological, based on the earliest events for each activity. The specific sections are are follows:

1. China Relief Expedition -- Boxer Uprising 1900-1901.

2. Legation & Embassy Guards in Peking -- 1901-1941.

3. U.S. Navy Yangtze River & South China Patrols -- 1903-1941.

4. U.S. Army Detachment in Tientsin -- 1911-1938.

5. U.S. Navy Purchasing Office in Shanghai -- 1923-1940.

6. West Coast Expeditionary Force - Marines in Shanghai -- 1927-1930.

7. Tientsin Expedition - Third Marines -- 1927-1929.

8. Fourth Marines in Shanghai -- 1930-1941.

9. Second Marines Reinforcing Shanghai -- 1937-1938.

10. Tientsin Marine Detachment -- 1938-1941.

General-to-General letter from the U.S. Military Postal Station in Peking to South Carolina. No return address is provided, but there is a handwritten notation reading "from Gen'l. Chaffee,” probably added by Gen. Randolph upon receipt. Chaffee was Commander of the U.S. forces in China Relief Expedition.

CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION - BOXER PERIOD In response to the Boxer Uprising in 1900, during which many foreigners and Chinese Christians were murdered by nationalistic insurgents, a group of the Great Powers sent troops to North China. The American contribution to the multinational force was called the China Relief Expedition, commanded by Major General Adna R. Chafee. It consisted of 6,300 men, including 5,000 regular Army personnel, 780 in the First Marine Regiment and about 500 sailors and Marines from the ships of the U.S. Far Eastem Squadron. The first to arrive were Army units sent from the Philippines, which landed at Taku on 6 July 1900. There were no plans to remain in China after the suppression of the uprising, and nearly all Americans were withdrawn by May 1901. "Peking, China" 19 August 1900 Forerunner Mail sent through San Francisco SANFRANCISCO: Z pene et se a5 SEP 22 6- AM*00 Between the arrival of the first American troops in July 1900 and the opening of the first military post office on 18 September, soldiers' letters were sent by military pouch to San Francisco, with or without postage, for forwarding to addressees. (Unfranked mail was routinely accepted under rules established during the Spanish- American War, with postage due being collected from the recipients.) CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION I.J.P.O. Tientsin 13 August 1900 5 September 1900 Forerunner Mail sent through Japanese Post Office ARMY AND NAVY DEPARTMENT ; “ = OF THE , i a INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE 3 : : = =~ YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS, 3 West 29TH STREET, N. Y. City. Tf not called for in Five Days, OO return to S ae | Pron << aa ole RE a ee ee pe ae eee : et ho ee. te 2tt.J, a. ‘ dor fitp, 91 bo, batfowir , ‘, An alternative to sending forerunner mail by military pouch was to send it via one of the Post Offices Abroad operated in China by various of the Great Powers. The Japanese postal service was favored because it offered the most frequent eastbound Trans-Pacific steamship departures to the U.S. However, postage had to be paid at the full UPU rate of 10 sen for letters. (Upper cover overpaid by 4 1/2 sen, presumably as a souvenir.) CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION Tientsin I.J.P.O. Sent via Japanese P.O. 21 September 1900 : ; = a. er Ses SS) ec ee ae , ie “aah Part GHG ce Tee aa ee SE gee Z US a. acd ce OAL leeds ME cs Sa Sa ae ce This Japanese postal card represents an important piece of postal history because the message confirms that the U.S. military postal station opened at Tientsin on 18 September, the day before it was written, and notes that no mail has come from San Francisco since the writer arrived a China a month earlier. CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION Mil. P. Sta. No.1 Tientsin/China 19 September 1900 Mil. Postal Sta. No.1/China 15 August 1901 Earliest & Latest Recorded U.S. Military Station Mail The earliest recorded cover from the U.S. Postal Station in China was postmarked on 19 September 1900 as shown above. The annual report of the Postmaster General states that the military stations “conducted business until about the 15" of May (1901) and were formally discontinued August 31%.” All but one company of U.S. troops had left by May 1901, so mail sent after that date is very scarce. CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION Mil. P. Sta. No.1 Tientsin 20 September 1900 Only Recorded Examples of the "Due Cents " Handstamp e LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PEKIN, CHINA. Diplomatic cover sent from Peking without postage, but assessed postage due of 2 cents when handled at the MPS. in Tientsin. + Although fully paid at the UPU rate in theory, the Indian stamps were not recognized at the M.P.S. in Tientsin and postage due was assessed. 4 io Ar tyf ( f ec ACG wo Dy Jit4 " f Yr \ af These covers were sent prior to the opening of the Military Postal Station in Peking on 30 September 1900. They traveled by military pouch to the postal station in Tientsin where they were processed. CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION Mil. P. Sta. No.1 Tientsin 12 February 1901 8 May 1901 Vy “TRI -RBSAL POSTAL i mrokse BF & Ig O} x —? 8, . a e y¥Yrom W. C, Horton, U, S.-Mble Servies, China, GEORGIA. The duplex postmark inscribed with the name "Tientsin" is recorded as used from 19 September 1900 to 18 May 1901. It is shown above on properly paid 2 cent rate international postcard and domestic soldier's letter. CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION Mil. P. Sta. No.1 Tientsin 7 November 1900 ~ “~= Civilians were allowed : to use the U.S. Military Postal Stations in China. However, letters . BF Y. DRESDE RUN ) RK. LEIPZIG BE z uw @ No. A283 Published by The American News Company, New York. Leipzig-Berlin \ 4 THIS SIDE 18 FOR THE ADDRESS ONLY (7 Pe ae = : Larval a Le a \ Much of the inbound mail to the Legation Guards was sent via the post offices abroad operated by various Great Powers in China. Above examples show that international postage rates applied on mail to the Marines at this time. The letter from California was correctly paid at 5 cents and, as attested by a backstamp, arrived via the French post office in Peking. The postcard was underpaid by 1 cent so that postage due was assessed; it arrived via the Japanese post office in Peking. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Inbound Returned Mail 15 June 1906 ss Morn ta a dlvon a? Que, = Bubiels, Ths. >a SA. ee, This well-traveled cover never did catch up with the intended recipient and was eventually returned to the sender in Buffalo after five months. Initially addressed to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, with a manuscript direction "Please Forward to Pekin, China." Backstamped at Batavia, Weltevreden and Soerabaja in the East Indies and sent on via Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tientsin to Peking. There, it was endorsed in red "Not in American Legation Guard, Peking, China." Apparently advertised for a month by the Chinese post office, it was then tumed over to the Japanese post office there for transmittal to the U.S., where it was returned to the sender. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 21 February 1908 23 October 1916 CARTE Koay Postkarte- Car tong, = OFRPbUE D a bomercy (PROT TI # ee In the normal course of events, mail from the Legation Guards was posted through the Chinese post office in Peking for transmission to the U.S. Above examples of a postcard and letter were correctly franked at 4 and 10 Chinese cents, respectively. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 26 December 1914 AMERICAN LEGATION GUARD PEKING, CHINA en aay he SPL A, nin Cin 9 oe eee Although World War I had broken out in Europe at the time this letter was sent, neither China nor the United States would be participants until 1917, so mail was not subject to censorship or any unusual treatment. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 25 August 1913 Outbound Mail via Japanese P.O. 7 1914 6 December 1924 MR. FRANK.G. BERGER MARINE. BAND AMERIGAN-LEGATION _ PEKING — CHINA wi Ot Ue POSTKAR J.EARL. U.S.i Letter and postcards sent from members of the Marine Band in Peking. The cover is properly paid at the UPU rate for international letters at 10 Chinese cents. Postcards from the same sender paid at the printed matter rate of 2 sen in Japanese Office in China stamps. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING 4/ ie Peking Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. & 30 March 1916 28 October 1926 The UPU rate for international letters was 10 Chinese cents, as shown on the earlier cover to Washington, D.C. Later cover franked with only 4 cents for the printed matter rate even though it was sealed. Postage due was assessed as ae indicated by "T" in 4 iy triangle, but it is not a ah indicated if it was ee collected. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Outbound Mail via German P.O. 1 January 1910 11 November 1910 pa ee. a << Carte postale Cartolina postale a) CET Ca Lo OTEPBITOE THCWIO: ON eS a, © re = es ie = jo ~ we <<. tc \. @. Be Fo ike So rae ; i A \ S. S ( S| \ \ “ y 3 = Se: ‘soe | © oe ee ee OS | : CS ee | wa & = ae ~ “hy | CR May ch 7 — American Aegation Guard A Wehing, Gbina. ; . ; a oo . ‘ ( Ve Mail from the Marines was despatched in the most convenient manner, which often meant the use of the post offices abroad of the other countries represented in Peking. The card and cover shown above went via the German postal service. Postcard is correctly franked with a 4 cent German China stamp on the picture side. The cover is overfranked by 2 Chinese cents and arrived in under a month even though it was forwarded to Texas. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Outbound Mail via Japanese P.O. Peking 31 October 1916 Earliest cover of registered mail from the Marine Guards known to exhibitor. The Japanese postal service was highly regarded for reliability and, thus, was a natural choice for sending valuable mail. com ~ The cover is franked with 38 sen in Japanese China stamps, which paid the 10 sen registration fee plus postage on 2.1 to 2.9 ounces (10 sen for first 20 grams, plus 6 sen for each of three additional 20 grams). | LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking | Inbound Mail via Shanghai 7 December 1909 Peiping July 1932 7 M, De-Amertcan Lesaton, : Upper postcard sent to a Marine in the Legation Guard from the U.S. to our post office in Shanghai, where a Rec'd" marking was applied. Lower cover sent to Marine Barracks in Hampton Roads and then forwarded. Initially missent to Coco Solo, C.Z. (transit mark of 25 May 1932) it then went to the 4th Marine Regiment in Shanghai (backstamp of 8 July 1932) and finally to the American Legation in Peiping. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peking Registered Mail Forerunners 18 October 1920 Washington, D.C. Registered mail prior to the 4 June 1922 opening of the U.S. post office is extremely elusive. Long cover is the only example of outbound registration known to exhibitor. It has return address of "T. A. Tieken, Marine Detachment, American Legation, Peking China" on reverse. Franked with 20 Chinese cents on the front and 6 cents on reverse. Sent via Moukden, Manchuria and Seattle. Small cover is only example of inbound registered mail prior to the opening of the U.S. post office known to exhibitor. It went from New Zealand to New York and was then forwarded to Marine Corps HQ in Washington. There it was readdressed to "Headquarters Detachment, American Legation, Peking, China." No postal markings beyond Washington, indicate that it traveled to the Legation by diplomatic pouch. LEGATION GUARDS - PEKING Peiping Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 2 October 1929 2 April 1930 LEGATION GUARD YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION PEKING, CHINA. : : Sfp al Leaation Guard ff Youna Men’s @hristian Association {3 ow Peipina, @hina. CSS s 8 |camcorn( = Mr. Paul W. Brown, Nawy Xe nm. oAes Shanghai. Covers with the corner card of the YMCA serving the Legation Guards in Peking. Note the name change to Peiping ("Northern Peace") by the Nationalist government in 1928. Lower example is domestic usage to the YMCA for sailors in Shanghai with appropriate receiving mark of 6 April 1930 on reverse. LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peipi Unfranked Mail via Chinese P.O. 4 June 1931 A most unusual cover sent completely unfranked by "R. V. Hamilton, American Legation Guard, Pekin, China” to California. Three strikes of large "T" in triangle were applied to denote postage due. This was followed up by a marking reading "Postage due 10 cents/Seattle, Wash." (double deficiency of the international rate) but neither postage due stamps nor receiving marks were applied. LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping United States P.O. 29 June 1932 25 November 1932 » ae \ 2¢ UNITED STATES Pe at air) Marine records report that a branch of the New York post office was opened on 2 February 1932 to serve the Legation Guards in Peiping. Postage to the U.S. was paid at domestic rates, i.e. 2 cents for letters through 5 July 1932 and 3 cents afterward. Lower example obviously contained a Christmas card in an appropriately colored envelope. The mail was actually delivered to and from the mainland in diplomatic pouches, so there was no involvement with the Chinese postal service. LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping Inbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 15 October 1933 THE NATIONAL PROTECTIVE AGENCY A Nation-wide Organization EXECUTIVE OFFICES Signal Oil Bldg. 7th at Figueroa St. LOS ANGELES, CAL. eae : = oe — Corp. Louis Tager, “abe E ~QRnd-GSoweliax ine..BKs. » 2 = - Péarte Harbor, Osh, tT. HL iar W ky, e Pe dmrah Ef. ‘Ff el be ee i : “ re 7 Metered business envelope addressed to a Corporal in the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor. Forwarded in manuscript to "M.D.A.L.G. (Marine Detachment American Legation Guard), Peiping, China" and endorsed with 3-line rubber stamp "Change of Address/due to/Official Orders." Postage due of 10 Chinese cents was applied in Peiping but subsequently cancelled when the letter was refused. Subsequently returned to sender in Los Angeles. LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping United States P.O. 17 June 1933 5 February 1934 , MARINE DETACHMENT AMERICAN LEGATION, PEICING CHINA COVER RON ¢ 5 O2==3@ A Ronald Gresnwood 2731-44th .Ave.SW. Seattle, Washn. The initial postmark of the branch post office in the American Legation showed both the new (Peiping) and old (Pekin) names for the city. This marking is recorded as used for nearly four years from 2 February 1932 to 6 January 1936. Peiping MWY moO [oe ret or mow Wn 35 2s S35 ag \O aA \O Ian bs € € i LO: < an Ly ity A / a © My C Bs nL ays yy g 4 ~ 30 ty "Fun %6c9 Ss5 UO N Z, VO 08 bax LS (she) ) b> M4 iN Clg, eo x J, by ley a Le aovoo Vy Ap, n Soa Ss 29q se 5 5S 8k Rey. 4A yy, ° BE ODO e . ay ‘eg s° Ex SaSs acre : : Sass ‘ey, 8S bp As Sah aSBe & No, “Nix, , Way zg sk Raes Nag gta Om Ma pa = & nw a 2 ¢ Ip on, Nyy a yr / 49 Seah es Nbr 3q ate / os EES OS o Xe ‘Ar / Qs OC Has q x, <[= megs2ad lsq thy j ] LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping United States P.O. 22 February 1933 19 October 1934 Registered Mail Earliest and latest recorded use of this marking If not ee eae 3 days return to: “Re If W. dean : ovine 9D hacker! Cyertece mene i sent The Legation post office was also equipped to handle registered letters. For this purpose, a special double-ring postmark was used, inscribed with the same wording as the cds for ordinary letters, with the addition of "Registered" at the bottom. The postage was cancelled with some type of killer, being a "bulls eye" of four concentric circles in one case and a large "Cancelled" in the other. Only three registered covers are recorded with this postmark, those shown above being the extreme dates. LEGATION GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping United States P.O. 2 March 1936 Registry Postmark 12 June 1936 . 2 March 1937 Earliest and latest recorded use of this marking Army and Navy Register ~~" Eleventh Street N. W., Washington, D. C. Only example recorded of this registration marking gc, Ss. In early 1936, a decision was made that reference to the older "Pekin" designation was no longer required, so a second postmark which merely stated "Peiping, China" was introduced. It is a relatively elusive marking, being recorded as used for only a little over three months from 2 March to 12 June 1936. The companion registration marking has not been seen used on a registered letter, but the example above was struck (probably philatelically) on a postal card, being the only example known to exhibitor. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING United States P.O. Earliest and latest recorded use of this marking Wwe OMSaLVviHd 2 oy ASSN 1 OLYNAWN Id WO Peiping 29 June 1936 10 May 1940 In mid-1936, the status of the U.S. diplomatic facility in Peiping was upgraded from a Legation to an Embassy. In order to reflect this new status, a third postmark was introduced with appropriate wording. It is recorded as used for nearly four years, with the extreme dates being shown above. Peiping 11 January 1938 25 July 1939 Z fot 3 od 2° g<¢ Da S's MN rm 28 35's ns ” a: An ose fd ao a 2 SE = 5 See 2 meg from the Marine post office at the American Embassy. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING Peipi Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 23 May 1937 CRE M W PALMER NAVAL RADIO STATION, MARINE DETACHMENT , AMERICAN. EMBASSY, PELPING, CHINA. BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENT, .7 WASHINGTON, Gee ~ ARMA VIA HONGKONG AND TRANSPACIFIC adit sf Tain! ea R' No. 551 Even after the establishment of a U.S. post office to serve the Marine Guards, mail was still sent through the Chinese postal service. Above cover sent registered airmail by a Navy radioman assigned to the Marine Detachment to the Department of the Navy in Washington. Backstamped for receipt on 6 June, it must have flown on the new Pan Am Clipper route from Hong Kong to San Francisco (inaugurated in April 1937). Franked with $1.70 in Chinese stamps ($1.40 airmail plus registration fee). EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING Peipin. United States P.O. 21 November 1937 a Only recorded example of this generic two-line marking being used to cancel postage. In this case, it was an unsealed (printed matter) envelope which did not require a dated cancellation. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEKING Peiping United States P. O. 3 June 1940 27 October 1941 Earliest recorded use of this marking Lieut. C.H.Coffin, Jr.,USNavy NAVY DEPARTMENT EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA OFF'CE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHE PEIPING, CHINA, OFFICIAL BUSINESS Lieutenant Kemp TULLEY, U.S.Navy U. &. Navy Purchasing Office ohanghai From lst Sgt. Frank Miller,USMC. Comp. "A". MD. ,American Embassy, reiping, Chine. “aN Sgt-M Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, T.H. In June 1940, a new cds was introduced with "Peiping, China" in much larger letters. This postmark has been recorded as used from 3 June 1940 (above) until 15 November 1941. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping United States P.O. 22 September 1937 22 November 1937 No Postage Available 986600 ma00- 3k The Gharleston sews and Courier, Charleston, South Cerolins, Us Se Ae SRE I rE bp apticee, IE = - EMBASSY GUARD YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION PEIPING, CHINA. On occasion, the Embassy post office ran short of stamps when demand was unusually heavy or a ship bringing new supplies was delayed in arrival. In those cases, a special marking was applied reading "No Stamps Available/Postage Due " and signed by an officer. Above examples show double and single-weight letters. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING Peiping Inbound Mail 10 July 1937 8 July 1940 —. SIURNUIN oe ISLE fir | EW I$ = 2.79. Sige *. POT —Birst Sapkenenke UeSe Marine Corps, ; Post Exchange Officer, Marine Detachment American Embassy, Pelping, et we _ ~e ow 2557 CHINA. < i = : a Upper example is a well-traveled airmail special delivery cover postcard from Long Beach to San Diego. It was forwarded to the Marine Barracks at the Naval Station in Cavite, Philippines and then to the Marine Detachment at the American Legation (by then the Embassy) in Peiping. There it received markings "(Not in the American Legation Guard)" and "Not in 4th Marines," before being returned to sender. Lower inbound example from Great Britain arrived via the Chinese post office in Peiping. . EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING United States P.O. Peiping 23 October 1941 Official Mail As before, official mail was handled by the Legation post office without charge, as shown per the above cover to the Washington HQ of the Marine Quartermaster. ‘EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING | Peiping United States P.O. 19 February 1938 Registered Mail . Earliest Recorded Use of this Marking The Embassy post office also handled registered letters. A special double-ring postmark was used, inscribed with the same wording as the cds for ordinary letters, with the addition of "Registered" at the bottom. Only two examples have been recorded, of which this is the earliest. EMBASSY GUARDS - PEIPING U.S. Naval P.O. U.S.S. Henderson 12 May 1938 Posted on U.S.S. Henderson, perhaps while sender was on leave or on official business in Shanghai. On the reverse is a transit mark of Chicago dated 3 June. YANGTZE TH CHINA PATROL Although ships of the Asiatic Fleet made frequent visits to Chinese ports as courtesy calls, to obtain supplies and for other purposes, the only U.S. Navy activity in China was the patrol boats on the Yangtze and Pearl Rivers. Following the Boxer Uprising, in 1903 the United States sent gunboats from Manila to Shanghai, where they were officially assigned to patrol the lower Yangtze River. These vessels and/or their replacements remained on patrol up until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Mail sent from the gunboats prior to the early-1930s is elusive, but a few examples are recorded back into the first decade of the past century.) U.S.S. Concord 11 January 1907 U.S.S. Wilmington 12 March 1910 Concord was assigned to » China in March 1906. It «, remained in the Far East until 1908, serving on the Yangtze patrol and as station ship at Shanghai. This cover was mailed prior to the creation of on board postal facilities, thus sent through the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai. q7e A ox le aa Lae od ie CARTE POSTALE Postkar te ~ Car tolina ce an Fog + Card het Wilmington commenced Fv ices river service on 17 j December 1908, serving : \ in the Yangtze Patrol as far upriver as Hankow. It | y | was transferred to Hong Kong in 1912. _ MADE IN JAPAN. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Villalobos 19 January 1915 4 March 1927 DEK... ces AAS AD elon ATU? ABA. FROM eee ees coeeeccee vesccerseceseenves Cee e cece core e eee reece sem meses esas cece cee reece cess terre enns cesserees The Challenge Stamp Exchange Post Office Box No. 73 UPTOWN BRANCH a Hoboken, N. Je NUMBER: ee, e The USS Villalobos and Elcano were captured in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and were chosen as the initial vessels for service in China when the Yangtze Patrol was inaugurated in 1903. Villalobos operated there for 25 years until being decommissioned on 9 October 1928. It served as the model for the fictitious USS San Pablo that later starred in the novel and movie “The Sand Pebbles.” YANGTZE PATROL Registered Mail Captured from the Spanish in the Philippines, Elcano was one of the original ships sent to China for river patrol work in 1903. Upon replacement by newer vessels, it was used as a target and sunk in October 1928. Its registration marking is very elusive, with fewer than 10 examples being recorded. PF Le Cin en as felt oe to eee rose ccc reese eee essesocesrese U. S. 8S. HECANO, Asiatic Station, Via SAN FRANCISCO, CAL. ferns cotton eee dhe USN eos eee coe e Brkt Dp 9870 (Yyte finnsylro U.S.S. Elcano 11 May 1916 17 November 1927 Small cover is distinctive in that the registry fee was paid by one of the special stamps issued for this purpose. This is the only such example of this stamp recorded from China and one of only five on covers originating from outside the continental United States. YANGTZE PATROL | U.S.S. Elcano 23 December 1922 Sent Through U. S. Postal Agency in Shanghai Very few examples of Yangtze Patrol mail sent through the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai have been observed. In fact, this is a very late usage, being sent just eight days before the post office was closed down. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Palos 20 December 1917 ca. 1935 In 1914, Monocacy and Palos joined the Patrol. These shallow-draft vessels were specifically designed to navigate the Yangtze gorges and to operate as far inland as Chungking, some 1,300 miles upstream from the home base at Shanghai. Covers from the early period of service of these gunboats are very elusive. The large piece is the front portion of a parcel wrapping sent from Palos at Chungking to the mail clerk for the Fourth Marines in Shanghai. Postage of $2.13 Chinese was paid for internal airmail service. U.S.S. Isabel March 1924 2 May 1927 YANGTZE PATROL Registered Mail Isabel was a special case of a non-gunboat assigned to the Patrol. It was a yacht fitted out as a destroyer during the World War and sent to China in 1921,. where it served as the flagship of the Yangtze Patrol. Isabel's final tour of duty ended in 1932. The registered cover sent by a sailor on Isabel to his wife in San Francisco. Manuscript notations of "moved" and. "sailed" suggest non-delivery. However, designations of "Unclaimed/Return to Writer" are crossed out. Backstamps of Seattle and San Francisco run from 5 to 21 April 1924. Ichang 9 June 1924 U.S.S. Isabel 7 October 1931 Z sent YANGTZE PATROL Use of Chinese P.O. Official Mail covers Official noo © 23 2 oO tH my oO a 28 3 3 — 2 Qy Bs Oo > eo Shanghai and it was the Yangtze Patrol at easier to the Commander of the fe Chinese post office for use internal postal service at to only 3 Chinese cents. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Isabel 4 October 1927 Official registered cover sent to the Navy Department in Washington. Postage was free but the 15 cent registration fee had to be paid by applying a postage stamp. It was backstamped for receipt on 28 October. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Panay 31 May 1929 27 October 1934 10 November 1937 Sis “eS Nov.10 Loge ey & wren a < . Pak : ‘ Sees Panay was another of the Guam class gunboats that joined the Patrol in 1928. It was attacked and sunk by Japanese warplanes near Nanking on 12 December 1937 during the Sino-Japanese War. Upper cover used from Chungking, which was the western terminus of the patrol, nearly 2,000 miles upriver from Shanghai, YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Panay 2 February 1933 NAVY YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION HANKOW, CHINA. ne Dis : fo PI. heat Wak Lr. Registered mail from the Panay is extraordinarily elusive, with fewer than five examples being recorded. In the case of the example above, postage of 3¢ and the registration fee of 15¢ are paid with Fourth Bureau adhesives and cancelled with the standard postmark of the ship, rather than by a killer. The cover is backstamped with the double-circle registration U.S.S. Panay datestamp and has a transit marking of the Navy Purchasing Office in Shanghai. YANGTZE PATROL Official Mail Sent via Chinese P.O. U.S.S. Oahu — 12 December 1930 8 May 1936 Left cover sent from esoteric location of Chenglingki, a small village in the Hunan Province. wy ‘ \ Bey oy & a +y (4 Z, 4 t oot x Sis s gee X aes c = - by oy aN GPs es oy 2 ny ” Oahu was another of the Guam class gunboats put into service in 1928. Sent to the Philippines with the outbreak of war in 1941, it was sunk by Japanese guns on Bataan in May 1942. YANGTZE PATROL p _ Official Mail ‘ Inbound Mail U.S.S. Oahu 3 December 1933 20 April 1934 Large cover ex the U.S. Navy Godown (warehouse) in Hankow via Oahu to Navy Dept. in Washington. POST rol Correspondence Ke Ca 2 XQ t ( . a = f* } Picture postcard of Sandakan mailed from British North Borneo to U.S.S. Oahu in China represents the most exotic Yangtze usage one could possibly imagine. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Oahu 22 February 1938 5 October 1938 — PAR AVION : PAR AVION | Via Ae Mall Mes Hd Packet : 7 $3 Walnut Lone _—'‘Wia Air Mail Ae en, Dalawave Memais UU, S.%. @awtré To QMERIEA, rT TD eee a > RETURN IN 10 DAYS TO Ay S. § : : Ait NA USS Ctl py a NLM. Aan) Piemcva Cy \938 Via Air Mat ~~4— ‘ in! THE STATE LIFE INSURANCE ©: POSE INDIANAPOLIS STATE LIFE BUILDING i ge INDIANA The Oahu postmarks shown above have locations in the killer bars of Nanking and Shanghai, respectively. Both covers were franked with 50 cents U.S. postage to pay the fee for transportation on the Pan Am Clipper from the Philippines to the U.S. mainland. YANGTZE PATROL "Wan. U.S.S. Tutuila 5 July 1931 1938 (?) ian STATES TSA ian AAR Aes re Tutuila was another of the Guam class ships that joined the Patrol in 1928. The covers shown above originated from the U.S. Navy Godown (warehouse) in Hankow. Note _ the misspelling of the name of the city in the killer bars of the upper cover. YANGTZE PATROL US.S. Tutuila Registered Cancel 13 October 1938 Parcel Post Cancel 21 December 1939 SATLOR?S MATL lg Auth. Pest. Regs. Par. 516 a 3 if A ech Kemp Tolley Lieutenant, USN u.S.S. TUTULS WM. dl. Rebeceon Jos te tat eed BAdg. Erevidenes U.S. S. 3 U. S. S. Tetuile sada rs fe y ‘ . 5 é S : Keel Laid - - October 17, 1926 p 5 Launched - - - » Sune 1H, 1927 vN Z YY). Commissioned - - - March 2, 1928 : ? se Upper. cover shows endorsement cachet that was used during periods when the on board post office ran out of stamps. Below is a blatantly philatelic cover with a cachet depicting the Tutuila. It is of interest as it bears the vessel's registration and parcel post markings -- not seen otherwise. YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Tutuila Inbound Mail 10 January 1939 _ ; July 1939 Inbound mail to crew members serving on the Yangtze Patrol is unusual. Upper example addressed to Luzon but delivered to Tutuila as confirmed by receiving backstamp dated one month after mailing. Tutuila was at Chungking at the outbreak of the war, so was safe from the Japanese. The crew was evacuated to India in January 1942 and the vessel turned over to the Chinese Nationalists the following month. Ichang U.S.S. Luzon 6 June 1935 17 September 1931 At the patrol to replace the aging Elcano. captured at YANGTZE PATROL Luzon was a sister ship of the Guam joined the outbreak of the war, it escaped to the Philippines but Corregidor in May & Z R) = and was 1942, YANGTZE PATROL U.S.S. Luzon Special Postmarks 21 September 1934 4 October 1937 BF. Gosnell . : Yangtse Patrol Navy Mail Clr: | U. 8. 8. Luzon - Mr. C.W. Morris 6226 Hayes St., Oakland, Calif. Tf AWE) AN i NOE CITALIA» «COSULICH» at g SH Ce ithe spiel scnoee wee eS creas f 2g? mn IN aha or Printed in Italy -Barabino & Graeve - Genova «CONTE DI SAVOIA » 48.502 Tons. EDIZIONI PROPAGANDA ITALIA-OOSWLIQY-LLOVD BRINRRING# \ As the flagship of the Patrol, Luzon was provided with a special steel postmark inscribed "New York, N.Y./Yangtze Patrol Br." which is recorded as used from July 1934 to May 1937. A second type of rubber cds with similar wording was used in 1936 and 1937. YANGTZE PATROL Sent via U.S. Marines P.O. U.S.S. Luzon 8 February 1936 30 December 1938 ° Font Bedssaass ass a3 a asd dS 2d oO946 8 BS.ot Boon SB e2ce > = th O BES rs0L5e Peeea PV ° SS4 84580 SO. = - "ge Y 2 -.2,8%83 ou enkaseockso B4SE8 Sess a 3 wy Ss Mw Sa

s E SESRERLSO Se 8 2 wai (BB Suro BE wa ASS ERS“ E% 26S SD 55 O0o83 SM Aw om 5M ; Q bh te GH CO ~” oO ovooodg -5 M248 Z2E S€92UR ES G O64 SO = On 6 UVUSxceVOAO 2H 8B @é, rcp ol ie Ww ect *A *JT(80 ‘OdstTouURIg uss 6 990298 UTE gg ‘kueduo0yn ® PLTWosyAouN snttne EH : aE] faa v9 ‘ODSISNvad NV LSVNLSOd 0/9 dIHSOv 1d ‘OVNVCNIN “S‘S‘N 1OU¥LVvVd VNIHD Hinos LAaTA OILVISV SALVLS GALINN ee et LINaAW 2] onononon | ee its ius LINENLYVaEa KAYN NOILYSIAYN oavzung RMP oyrerettsc001 = iyemeiemrmen, . Sere nena WNIHO 4 Bee 2 : P| SSANISNG TvldidasoO “IvV9 ‘ODSIDNVY4 NVS ‘YS1SVN1LSOd 0/9 diIHsOv13 ‘OVNVGNIW 'S'S'N TOULVd VNIHD HLNOSs LAaTA OILVISV SALVLS G3aLINN INAWLYVdad AAYN SOUTH CHINA PATROL ARMY TROOPS - TIE Another condition of the Peace Protocol signed by China following the Boxer Uprising was that the intervening powers had the right to garrison lines of communication between Peking and the coast. There was great unrest in China during the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which resulted in the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty. Consequently, the 15th Infantry was sent to China in December 1911 for garrison duty in Tientsin, which was on the line of communication from the Yellow Sea, where they remained until withdrawn in late 1938. Outbound Mail via the Japanese P.O. Tientsin 6 October 1914 The United States never opened a post office to handle the mail of the U.S. Army garrison in Tientsin. Thus, it was necessary for the troops to use either the Chinese postal service or those of the post offices abroad operated by various of the Great Powers. Generally, the Japanese service was preferred because it was very reliable and offered a wider choice of eastbound Trans-Pacific steamship sailings. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Tientsin Outbound Mail via Japanese P.O. 11 October 1915 Earliest recorded registered 4 mail from the Army 15th = Infantry located in Tientsin. Backstamped with transit marking of San Francisco of 8 November and receiving mark of Washington dated 13 November. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Inbound Mail via Chinese P.O. pac se Earns Return in 5 Days to | TOLEDO STAMP CO., Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Postage Stamps and Coins BUYING LIST 10C fe LIE 2S ee ge St. Clair Bldg., TOLEDO, OHIO, U. Seas ee eS — Tientsin 13 July 1913 Unusual cover sent (by a stamp dealer) to China via the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai (with transit marking of 4 July) to Foochow. It was then endorsed "try Tientsin." The addressee was unknown there, where a previously unrecorded marking "Not with U.S. troops in China" was applied before returning to sender. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Tientsin Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 18 February 1924 13 March 1926 : | . a oe 4 & pe ~ Ss ee Col. I. Newell, 15th U.S. Infantry, Tientsin, China, The Internetional Book Review, “S54 = 360 Fourth Avenue, 18 New York, N.Y. B, S.A. At the end of 1922 the foreign post offices abroad in China were closed down, thus forcing the troops to use the Chinese service. At the same time, problems arose with the theft of stamps from letters, either before they were delivered to the post offices or after. Thus, a new practice came into being -- that of defacing the stamps so that they would not have any resale value. Examples shown show typical straight-line markings used for this purpose, worded "Hdqrs. China Expedition" and "China Expedition." ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Tientsin Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. 22 June 1925 12 August 1927 v.d.Bggleston c/o Hq. U.S. Forces in China, Pientsin, China. Miss MW. K, Schultz, Salem, New Hampshire, Us Ba Be At least two other defacing devices were used to prevent theft. The examples shown here are worded "American Forces in China" and "Headquarters, American Forces in China/Tientsin, China." ARMY TROOBS - TIENTSIN Tientsin Inbound Mail via Chinese P.O. - 19 April 1932 Extraordinary usage of a letter from an officer in the French Armee du Levant, mailed from FPO 616 in Syria to the American Barracks in Tientsin. No postage was paid or assessed as postage due, but the cover arrived in China a month and a half later. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. Official. mail sent by Army members from Tientsin to the U.S. through the Chinese post office in Tientsin. One from the Judge Advocate sent by ordinary mail; example from the Post Exchange sent by registered mail. Tientsin 11 January 1920 %,. 14 November 1930 ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. Wes oe Rov on Si : STATION HOSPITAL, U.S. ARMY TROOPS IN CHINA, Cw 2 oa tf fi. yf . Z,¢ cag TIENTSIN, CHINA. as _—— r John J. Cuddy £ HEADQUARTERS _ UNITED STATES ARMY TROOPS IN CHINA TIENTSIN, CHINA Tientsin 21 July 1932 24 July 1933 Riteareiy j ‘ No. 14373 fa 7 Den 6 hens MK daastasst 2? sgt ete ae Mr. John We Matera, os Fee fee” Sehoel Street, ws yo" Thorndike, Massachusetts a - UeSode There was apparently sufficient need for health services among the troops that a hospital was operated on the Tientsin station. Examples of registered and ordinary letters sent through the Chinese postal service are shown. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. Tientsin 4 May 1935 Official business cover sent from Tientsin. However, the official nature of the correspondence did not exempt the letter from Chinese postage, which was paid at the international rate of 25 Chinese cents. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. Tientsin 6 July 1937 Official business cover sent from HQ in Tientsin to the Commanding General of U.S. troops in the Philippine Islands. Sent by airmail from Tientsin via Shanghai and Hong Kong to Manila, where it was backstamped for receipt 15 July. Postage paid was $2.85 Chinese. ARMY TROOPS - TIENTSIN Peiping Sent via Marine P.O. in Peiping 22 September 1937 9 November 1937 15TH U. S. INFANTRY TIENTSIN, CHINA. - 35 fo —_ y Z 2 Se ye a ee L L ‘On me 2 V=— ox : >} ¥ ow J ~ ?\ 2 A “ A io es Say = e =e C : dl 4. GE Ayvim Tel. a —= c > = “s 4 fae Va rt B <6 me y ’ ee : < \ an coy = a 5 i? RED EO Rice es # ad i S £ é Piealsein, Ching = ee 2 FA War between Japan and China broke out on 7 July 1937, and Japanese forces occupied both Peiping and Tientsin in that same month. At that point, it was considered safer to deliver the Army mail to the Marine P.O. in the American Embassy in Peiping, where it could be sent on to the U.S. by diplomatic pouch. In the following year, the Army garrison in Tientsin was withdrawn back to the United States. ARMY TROOPS -CHINWANGTAO Outbound Mail via Chinese P.O. One small detachment (consisting of Companies K and M of the 15th Infantry) was stationed at Chinwangtao near the Manchurian border. The long cover represents early registered mail from the 15th Infantry and was carried by military courier to Tientsin, where it was mailed through the civil P.O. Tientsin 13 August 1916 Chinwangtao 9 July 1931 Small cover mailed to Denmark from Chinwangtao. The international letter rate of 25. cents Chinese was paid by an adhesive of that denomination. ARMY TROOPS -CHINWANGTAO Chinwangtao Outbound & Inbound Mail via Chinese P.O. ca. 1935 Tientsin 29 June 1933 We ie CARROLL, U. Se MARINE. PERMANENT DETACHMENT ? CAMP HOLCOMB, CHINWANGTAO, CHINA. bee egttt™ — - MRS. JOHN F. CARROLL SR. 95: iS Ely WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, Ue De Ae VIA SIBERIA CORRESPONDENCE < = oc = — | st 2 CLittemintsoenr="Bs prcice RS Ei, : ae a : “ ? topeh i 2. A thy eheay) Upper cover mailed by a member of the Permanent Detachment in Chinwangtao via the local post office, with postage of 25 cents Chinese being paid by appropriate adhesives. Below is a picture postcard mailed as printed matter from Batavia, Netherlands East Indies with postage of three Dutch Indies cents affixed on the picture side. Addressee was a member of the American Army in Tientsin who had been assigned to Chinwangtao; a previously unrecorded forwarding marking was applied. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE -- SHANGHAI A second naval activity in China was the Navy Purchasing Office which provided food, fuel and other supplies for the gunboats and other U.S. warships making port-of- call stops in Shanghai. Although a purchasing agent was reportedly on duty as early as 1923, the first recorded use of a special postmark was 31 July 1928. This office closed on 17 August 1940. U.S.N. Purchasing Office 22 August 1929 There were three distinctly different postmarks used on ordinary mail by the Purchasing Office, plus some minor variations of one of them, which are shown subsequently. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE Shanghai Local Post Inbound Mail through Chinese P.O. 24 June 1927 Only Example of Local Post Marking on American Intervention Mail AMERICAN CLUB SHANGHAI. Capt. A. W. domson, ce U. & 8. Bismeond, This letter sent within Shanghai from the American Club to the U.S.S. Richmond care of the Navy Purchasing Office. A fee of 1 Chinese cent was paid for local delivery. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office 23 January 1931 20 September 1933 Earliest and Latest Recorded Examples of This Postmark XK x LIGGETT & MYERS TOBACCO Co. (CHINA) LTD. 2A KIUKIANG ROAD Se (PER Sth he BX SHANGHAI Bl ® Supply Officer Uy 5 ® 5 ° BLACK HAWK i In early 1931, a second postmark with the wording in a continuous circle was introduced. Shown above are the extreme dates of use of this marking. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE ® Co > U.S.N. Purchasing Office 2 £ 5 October 1932 uf. * re Yo x? y aa eo &¢ ag ye 2 2 ww eo a AY a fag a ” Unfranked official cover <= from the Purchasing ~~ Office to the U.S.S. << Black Hawk. Only ~~ example of this postmark <= in a color other than black seen by exhibitor. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office 3 April 1934 28 March 1938 Earliest and Latest Recorded Examples of This Postmark Miss Irene Northcott 44 Asquith Street Gainsborugh, Lincplinshire England Navy Y.M.C.A, SHANGHA!, CHINA. P. O. BOX 1683 A second version of the initial Purchasing Office postmark, but without comma at the end of "Office" and with comma between Shanghai and China, was used between 1934 and 1938. Note that the cds had assumed an oval shape toward the end of this period, possibly due to becoming overheated in the sunlight. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office 26 May 1936 4 January 1940 Earliest and Latest Recorded Examples of This Postmark ITALIAN LINE “ITALIA” = FLOTTE RIUNITE - GENOVA UNION TRUST COMPANY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA S. W. COR. 15TH AND H STREETS WASHINGTON, D. C. A third different postmark of the Purchasing Office, with only "U.S.N." at the top of the cds, was used between 1936 and 1940, sometimes with a slogan between the killer bars. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office Registered Mail 18 January 1929 24 March 1931 Earliest and latest recorded usage of this marking URITED STATES EAYY PUPCUASIED & DReeBReMe errey’ SHANGHAI, CHINA. ‘ 7 The first version of the special double-circle marking for registered letters had its wording entirely in upper case _ letters. However, it was soon replaced by a postmark using both upper and lower case letters, thus is seldom seen. NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office 30 October 1934 10 November 1937 17 August 1940 Navy Mail Clerk; U. S.' Navy Furcha Shanghai . China. fe Last Day of Use of Purchasing Office Postmark These covers show examples of the registration marking with upper and lower case letters. The first is on an inbound registered letter from the Philippines; the second on an outbound letter to San Francisco. Lower cover is highly philatelic, no doubt sent over to be postmarked on the last day of operation. However, it has an example of the third minor version of the regular postmark, with periods after "Office" and "China." NAVAL PURCHASING OFFICE U.S.N. Purchasing Office 30 October 1937 Only Recorded Example of Receiving Postmark Special double-circle markings were provided for use on inbound mail and registered letters. The receiving mark shown above has its wording entirely in capital letters. FIRST EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI In the mid-1920s various factions, including the Nationalists and Communists, were vying for control in China. These well-armed groups represented a threat to the security of the International Settlements in Shanghai. In response, several of the Great Powers with interests there, including France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States, sent troops to the area. The first American contingent, consisting of 130 Marines, arrived in Shanghai on 6 October 1924 and was withdrawn on 8 February 1925. Inbound Mail Shanghai ; 29 January 1925 Only Recorded Example of First Expeditionary Force Mail This New Year's greeting card sent to a Marine Sergeant at Cavite in the Philippine Islands. It was posted in San Diego in mid-December 1924 and forwarded to the China Expedition in Shanghai, where it arrived on 29 January 1925 as shown by the backstamp of the Chinese civil post office. SECOND EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI It was soon apparent that the internal. turmoil in China had not ended and that a larger force was required for the protection of foreigners. As a result, a Second Expeditionary Force, consisting of 1,500 men of the Fourth Marine Regiment,was embarked on the U.S.S. Chaumont in San Diego and sent to China, disembarking at Shanghai on 21 March 1927. Fourth Regiment 27 March 1927 22 August 1929 Earliest & Latest Recorded Use of this Postmark Only Example of Registered Mail serge gre “s Seceesrg ace FCURTH. -—— REGIMENT.” L MAR 27 1987 SHANGHAI CHinA NRE ZT The small headquarters unit of the Second Shanghai Expedition put into service almost immediately a provisional postmark inscribed "Fourth/Regiment/USMC/Shanghai/China." Examples of mail with this postmark are very elusive. There was no special registry marking for this unit, so the postage was cancelled with the same datestamp as ordinary mail. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI U.S.S. Chaumont 8 April 1927 In the meantime, mail from the rest of the members of the WCEF did not have a post office immediately Re available. Some of them —_ sent letters via the post — Nea office on board Chaumont. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI Fourth Regiment 15 August 1928 Mail from the West Coast Expedition was handled at the domestic letter rate of 2 cents, carried by diplomatic pouch to the U.S. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI West Coast Expeditionary Force June 1, 1932 Only Recorded Example of Registration Postmark Although philatelically franked, this cover is the discovery copy and thus far the only recorded example of the West Coast Expeditionary Force registration postmark. Interestingly, it is struck without date as a killer for the postage on the front but includes the date in the strikes on the reverse. Initially sent to Coco Solo, Canal Zone and then forwarded to Pennsylvania. West Coast Expeditionary Force 10 September 1927 24 November 1928 20 December 1928 EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI Earliest and Latest Reported Examples of this Postmark Only Example of Special Delivery Mail FIS LE Vu tah ¢ gee % on Some months later a new postmark inscribed "4th Reg. U.S.M.C./West Coast Expeditionary Force" was placed in service. Dates of usage are from 10 September 1927 to 20 December 1928. a EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI U.S.T.P. Sea Post/S.S. President Grant 10 August 1929 Official Mail Only recorded example of Sea Post marking on official mail of the Fourth Marines. Sent via the steamer President Grant from Shanghai to San Francisco. FE TH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI By early 1930, it had become clear that the Marines were no longer operating as an expeditionary force but would have to be assigned to China indefinitely. Thus, on 13 February 1930, the WCEF was officially renamed the Fourth Marines. The size of the garrison in Shanghai fluctuated from time to time as smaller units rotated in and out of China, but on average the Regiment consisted of about 1,500 men. Because of the increasing tension around Shanghai by the Japanese in the early 1940s, the Marines were withdrawn to the Philippines on 28 November 1941, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. a ae - = 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. i Peto Sf ae S eo. ol ayo. eS b> ee GS be 7 e_o'S - Sie Se £8 ppt Se NS eee es ek - —— —— oh A re EF Se Ee Se eee See, Pete Ste See de Moroes & eee? . Lee ee Lo pC SC .¢ Soe a7 ae es cs \ — | > 2 Neder ees Ids ee . ds —— i oe 5 a ait Pn, = acd e: S ei a Ce Cae — Se Se SS oe “Ce i eo Pee Ce t.e seus Hdj gee a\ S= + = ee ee ES fe PN Be a dhe Pas & PR Shere et Cane | = °C \ ~ NM acre << \ { = 4 e & oss — e ee 6 ( ae ie , J The change in nomenclature meant that an appropriate postmark would have to be introduced eliminating the “Expeditionary Force" designation. A new metal cds with elliptical killer bars was used for much of the period of the early 1930s. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. 30 October 1935 17 April 1941 Earliest and Latest Reported Examples of this Postmark T,SYWISGd UNDA SY ' SGNOG , | SONIAYS SN ANG During the eleven years of the Fourth Marines in China, six different postmarks were used on first class mail. The one shown here had the longest career and was used contemporaneously with several of the other postmarks. Its distinguishing characteristics included the spelling "Reg." and the lack of a comma after "Shanghai." FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. No Postage Available 30 November 1936 FOURTH MARINE MAIL No postage, availabl: Gollect on Delivery, Ne: ee Golonel, OU. 8. Marine Corps. MISS EVA F, GRAY, VETERANS HOSPITAL, CASTLE. POIN?, NEW YORK. apse Ne sees renee 9 postage available a woliset on Delivery, ag ee 7 j “a =) a z ; os se : 4 we tf FO), ug eS AGO. AGH MUR... . CENTS On two occasions, when the supply of stamps ran out due to dockworker strikes in the U.S., a special provisional marking was employed to designate the situation so that postage could be collected from recipients. The first time this was done was in November-December 1936. (The handstamp applied by Col. Price was official, but the added image of Buddha and a dragon was privately applied.) EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - SHANGHAI West Coast Expeditionary Force Registered Mail 27 December 1927 20 May 1935 Earliest Reported Example of this Postmark A special double circle postmark was provided for backstamping WCEF registered mail. Examples are very uncommon, and the extreme dates recorded are 27 December 1927 to 20 March 1937. IONA Fearing disorders elsewhere in China, 1,500 men of the Expeditionary Force were disembarked at Tientsin on 30 June 1927. This group was later renamed the Third Marine Brigade and, after the threat to the International Settlement eased , the troops were withdrawn to the Philippines in early 1929. Forerunners sent through the Chinese P.O. CORRESPONDENCE Won ALLEL Ea (nite) States Harine Corps. ‘expeditionary 5 urces Eee Sane 127 Cientsin, Ohina Loe ' ADDRESS ON A ft ZL es / a A } ¢ a en LD 3 u rH & a S At fh Or 38 2 Tientsin 23 July 1927 3 December 1927 The Tientsin Expedition did not have its own post office until April 1928. As a result, all of the earlier mail had to be sent through the Chinese postal service. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - TIENTSIN Tientsin Forerunners sent through the Chinese P.O. 9 November 1927 21 January 1928 Two of the five recorded covers from the Marine Aircraft Squadron that was stationed at the Hsin Ho landing field. Ypad ese flied ae A Ya Ctant Art ee as : . fez “ Lb oe as : oe ical es 3 One small aircraft squadron was sent to China to act as a scouting force for the Marines stationed in Tientsin. Examples of mail from this group are extremely elusive. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - TIENTSIN 4th Reg. U.S. M.C. 19 June 1928 Registered Mail er: gee §35 awd , bbe 2 os 2 m™ ©. sb ais a9v gaz ZaS of the Fourth example was sent through the P.O. Marines in Shanghai, but has a straight line marking of "3rd Brg. USMC. Reg. No.... Ser..." EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - TIENTSIN Third Brig. 1 May 1928 24 June 1928 | band. Co-ed Bp states Ia, «bl hRegl Ce jnes )} 7ien bgin Ching. To San rane -Ca I. ae per 4 “ie { A post office was established to serve the Third Marines in Tientsin, and the extreme dates of use of its postmark are from 28 April 1928 to 18 January 1929. Examples of mail from this unit are relatively scarce because of the limited period of time in service. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - TIENTSIN | Third Brig. U.S. Marines | 18 January 1929 Latest recorded use of this marking Official Mail Official mail was handled by the Third Marine post office without charge, as shown per the above front of a cover carried by diplomatic pouch to Washington, D.C. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE - TIENTSIN Sent through the Chinese P.O. The large cover was sent through the Chinese P.O, on the day after the U.S.P.O. in Tientsin ended operations. The Third Marines left China on 23 January 1929. Tientsin 6 March 1928 19 January 1929 Return address on the small cover is very specific as "15th M.G. Co., lst Battalion, 12th Regiment, Third Brigade of Marines, Tientsin, China, % Postmaster, Seattle, Wash." However, the sender was not named! FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. No Postage Available 27 November 1937 13 December 1937 The second emergency period, when no stamps were available, was from November 1937 to February 1938. In this case, Col. Price's handstamp was applied in purple and mauve rather than black. Note that in some cases there is no evidence that the postage due was actually collected. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. 27 October 1937 25 December 1937 Lte David M. Owens Quartermaster's Depot 4th Ret., U. §. M. C. Shanghai, China Chief of Starf Bureau of Insular Affairs Navy Department Washington, D. CG. 4 A third type of Fourth Marines cancel was used between 1937 to 1940. It was similar to the second type, which was in service contemporaneously, but had a "t" added to "Regt." and a comma was added between "Shanghai" and "China." Killer bar slogans shown above for "Navy Day" and "Christmas Day." FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C 2 May 1938 13 May 1938 THE FOREIGN eae OF THE UNITE TATES OF AMERICA SE Col. C.F.B. Price, USMC., : | ee HEADQUARTERS, FOURTH MARINES, : A & — = mice Care, Postmaster J 2 : Pier 2 Lo San Francisco, Mialiv. V4 AY Ce LP fs See 4 ff Yov Ke. CQ: at Oy : Ce \ ey e1 John d.:Dooley, : * National Lead Company, NS Room 2020, 11l1lBroadway, NEW YORK, N.Y. Additional examples of third cancel, with upper cover used from a member of the Foreign Service. Lower cover has very unusual franking of 21 cents to pay surface rate for sending a "Marine Corps Emblem" weighing between six and seven ounces. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. 20 April 1938 25 June 1938 ar W al Vi e PAR AVION The Marines could also use the Trans-Pacific airmail service for an extra charge. Upper cover shows payment of 50 cents airmail postage for Pan-Am Clipper from Manila to California. Lower cover shows special rate of 10 cents to pay the single-leg Clipper postage from Manila to Guam -- a very unusual usage. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. 12 January 1939 7 July 1941 Earliest and Latest Reported Examples of this Postmark ANN H. HUIZENGA, M.D. ST, ELIZABETH’S HOSPITAL, LANE 361/2 AVENUE ROAD, SHANGHAI. The fourth cancel used on first class mail sent by the Fourth Marines had the same inscription as the third, but it was worded continuously around the dial instead of having lettering at top and bottom. FOURTH MARINES - SHANGHAI 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. 17 April 1939 Letter sent by air from Manila to Guam at special single-leg rate of 10 cents. 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. 1 May 1940 16 June 1940 19 December 1940 FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI Earliest and Latest Reported Examples of this Postmark Form 4416 ee - UNITED STATES POST OFFICE DIRECT PACKAGE = Firm Case Mail ALL FOR FIRM ON FACE Impression of Clerk’s Case Stamp must appear below: ; Upon opening this package you will kindly note whether or not errors are found. If so, please enter your firm name and date on this slip, and return it together with the wrongly delivered mail to the post office. Example of cancel on ‘ ? 2 : This cooperation on your part will enable instruction slip provided to - this office to place responsibility and event- _ addressee of package. This - ually give you better service. usage not previously seen by oe * POSTMASTER. exhibitor. oe eee A fifth cancel not often seen was used by the Fourth Marines only during 1940. It was another version with a combination of a steel cds and a set of elliptical killer bars. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI U.S. Marines 4 August 1941 Only Reported Example of this Postmark a Seat: This cover from Capt. Newton of the Fourth Marines in Shanghai to his wife in Vermont is a most unusual example. It is self-censored and has a generic "U.S. Marines” cancel not reported in the literature. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI ae Captain WH Wilterdink USN US Navy Purchasing Office Shanghai China cyo PM _ San Francisco California MRS W H WILTERDINK 917 SAN ANSELMO AVENUE SAN ANSELMO CALIFORNIA USA Latest Recorded Example of this Postmark la Zt 4th Reg. U.S. M.C. 2 September 1941 22 November 1941 F | | | | The final postmark used on first class mail by the Fourth Marines was a reprise of the original rubber cds introduced in 1935. However, it can be distinguished by the comma inserted between "Shanghai" and "China." Only four covers are recorded on the final date. Most of the Regiment embarked on the S.S. President Madison for the Philippines on 27 November 1941, and the rest followed on the S.S. President Harrison the following day. 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. 2 May 1936 FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI Registered Mail 13 December 1937 c * registereg Three different Fourth Marine double-circle registry cancels were used, but determining the dates of usage is hampered by the fact that fewer than ten examples have been recorded. The two shown here differ in that the "th" of "4th" is in lower case letters on the earlier cover (inbound from Bangkok, Thailand) and in upper case on the other (outbound to Philadelphia). FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. Registered Mail 22 June 1937 29 December 1937 iii i ch mnie lsat The undersigned declares that the article described on the other side was duly delivered Le soussigné déclare que Venvoi mentionne d’autre part & été diment lire on pol Ose le 19 SIGNATURE 1 Postmark of the office of destination Timbre du bureau destinataire of the addressee: of the agent of the office of destination © du destinatatre: de Vagent du bureau destinataire es i 1 This receipt must be signed by the addressee, or, if the regulations of the country of destination so provide, by Cet avis doit Gre signé par le destinataire, ou, si les réeglements du pays de destination le comportent, par Vagent du bureau destinataire the agent of the office of destination, and returned by the first mail direct to the sender. ef renooyé par le premier courrier directement & V expéditeur. U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE §—11654 Upper registered cover from Great Britain has unusual marking of "Received in bad condition at 4th U.S. Marines, Shanghai, China" not reported in the literature. Lower example is a return receipt for a registered letter from Washington, D.C. to a Marine at Shanghai. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI Registered Mail 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. 9 February 1939 The third version of the Fourth Marines registry cancel was similar to the others but the abbreviation used for Regiment has a "t." It was used here on an official cover to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Washington. Postage was free, but the Regimental Hospital in Shanghai had to pay 15 cents for registration and 3 cents for a return receipt. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. Parcel Post 1 July 1939 ~ 13 August 1939 CONTENTS:— MERCHANDISE USES Fo Oeererer tat rerehnaranee eae RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Ss CONTENTS MERCHANDISE POSTMASTER: This parcel may be opened for postal inspection if necessary. FROM: Regimental Exchange, Fourth Marines 026 Shanghai, China. sates Return Postage Guaranteed The parcel post killer and double circle cds from the Fourth Marines are seldom seen. Examples shown are on package fronts. The upper piece is franked at 15 cents postage for up to one pound plus 5 cents for insurance to a $5.00 valuation. Lower piece pays the parcel post fee for one to two pounds. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI Money Order 28 November 1940 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. that it cancel differed from the in identified Shanghai as a the Fourth Marines others The M.O.B. version of branch of the New York Example obviously post office. is philatelic, but it is the shown only recorded money ed S38 3a o dues Essa 63% 2 sy Q g EAS o4 ae Ges o Bao ero OA ao Cpa 686s FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI 4th Reg. U.S.M.C. Auxiliary Markings 12 April 1937 June 1938 Sgt.R.L.Tyson,. Recrnit’ Depot. Marine Corps Base. “« ” a san Diego, »Californigar 7 as 2 aK FN ‘ Koby VIA;Naval Pangea. tee oS CO Ath teers. ¢ Canton Road. Mr. & Mrs. Waldo ¢. 4th Marines, . COREL, GUAR» a Postmaster. Be Pes : ce y RE CVOGey pee TP Rgenatine ay Examples of two different special markings in inbound mail. The upper one may be a military mark rather than postal, but the "Received in bad condition at 4th Marines" is clearly an official post office marking. Note that 70 cents paid in postage on this cover was the correct rate for the full Trans-Pacific journey via Pan Am from San Francisco to Hong Kong. FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI February 1937 Inbound Mail February 1941 i AFTER 5 DAYS, RETURN TO * SECOND FLOOR FRONT 4677 FRANKFORD AVE. PHILADELPHIA, PA. ae a qe Set. Harold § Smallwood - ly Bs Marine Detachment i fies : Air Mail oer) oe . Special Bolivdes oy fray of| Clee Clipper : a C.S. Todd, ist i; ven : The Post Exchange. officer oe » Rourth Marines. Shanghet, : atime. Wha + eee a Examples of inbound Clipper airmail from the mainland and Guam. The upper cover was forwarded from Guam to Shanghai. The lower cover was properly paid at 30 cents (the total of 10 cents Guam to Manila and 20 cents Manila to Hong Kong). As it transited the latter port, it was "Not Opened by Censor." FOURTH MARINE REGIMENT - SHANGHAI November 1936 Inbound Mail August 1937 | ® eo wast | © Rt Ss . ; ; Re re ae Ss Sere ABN os 9-7 In the period before the U.S. post office opened to serve the Second Brigade of the Sixth Marines, mail could be sent by the troops through the Chinese postal service. As shown by the examples above, airmail letters could be sent at a cost of $1.20 Chinese via Pan Am Clipper from Hong Kong to San Francisco. SECOND MARINE BRIGADE - SHANGHAI Second Mar. Brig. 17 November 1937 Clipper Mail Mail requiring rapid service could be sent via Pan Am Clipper from Manila to the mainland. In this event, 3 cents postage was charged to _ the Philippines and 50 cents for the Trans-Pacific flight. SECOND MARINE BRIGADE -— SHANGHAI Registration Marking Hi. I, parton, Cpl. 2nd Marine Brigaac Shanghai, China Offre Bepartnwnt a SAN POST OFFICE, DEAD LETTER BRANCH OFFICIAL. BUSINESS (No. 28) returned direct to the sender from the Post Office to which addressed, G2 Letters beating the name and address of the writer or sender are not sent to the Dead Letter Office to be opened, but are ese ON DELIVERY OV A Wa Coek Second Mar. Brigade 6 November 1937 1 January 1938 _ PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE TO AVOID = a PAYMENT OF. POSTAGE: $3007 Donald Compton, 6th sarines ,second Marine Brigade, Asiatic Station, IePeie SAN Francisco, Calif, A registration cancel was provided for the Second Marines, although it is not discussed in the literature. Only this single example of an outbound registered letter has been recorded. The cover below shows the registry cds used as a receiving mark on an inbound cover from the Post Office Department in San Diego. SECOND MARINE BRIGADE - SHANGHAI Shanghai Inbound Mail January 1938 11 February 1938 LSC AGN ©" peg 29 ON a 937 of = a 2 \exF P é anatomy Me lh ern RO sade termi oman \ ‘e e ‘ Re a te Xd > } aot ng q € ae A 3 : ; z - j Re — § Because of the limited time they spent in China, inbound mail to the Second Marines is especially elusive. The airmail - special delivery letter apparently was delivered as addressed. However, the ordinary letter first went to the post office for the Legation Guards in Peiping and did not arrive in Shanghai until after Pvt. Dabbert and the Second Marines had left for San Diego. SECOND MARINE BRIGADE - SHANGHAI Second’ Mar. Bric. Unfranked Mail 29 December 1937 18 February 1938 Latest recorded use of this postmark v.s. ° MARINE WATC SECOND MARINE BRIGAD : 7 Ne postage available = onan E. HAYES | : Capt. U.S. Marine Corps 3 Mre, ROY E. Vogetsiant 1670 Guy Ste, : oaed E . : San Diego, California. awn: From time to time, supplies of stamps ran out and Capt. Hayes applied a special marking indicating that no postage was available. Above examples in purple and mauve, the latter being used on the final day in Shanghai. MARINE DETACHMENT - TIENTSIN In July 1938, 100 Marines were transferred from the Legation Guard in Peiping to establish a detachment in Tientsin. They remained there until being taken as POWs by the Japanese following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mail from this unit is scarce, with non-philatelic usage being limited to an estimated 20 examples. Marine Detachment 24 August 1938 5 June 1939 Earliest recorded use of this postmark GIFIG INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION || I535-SAN DIEGO-I935 Ir A special postmark was provided for use by the Tientsin Detachment. The extreme dates of use are recorded as 24 August 1938 to 10 December 1941. Lower cover is the only example to a foreign address seen by exhibitor. MARINE DETACHMENT - TIENTSIN Marine Detachment Registration Marking 17 November 1938 Only Reported Example of this Postmark Registered mail from the Marine Detachment is extraordinarily elusive, with only this one example having been recorded in over a half century. As was usual for the period, the postage on the front was cancelled with an oval killer, and the strikes of the double circle registration marking were applied on the reverse. MARINE DETACHMENT - TIENTSIN Tientsin 17 April 1940 Sent through the Chinese P.O. Mail could be sent by members of the Marine Detachment via the Chinese postal system. The above cover was assessed 5 cents postage due on arrival in the U.S., presumably because it was over the 1 ounce first weight step. Zz = MN z is j= Bs ke Z fa = fr 0 < f= FS A s Z pe < = Marine Detachment 30 January 1941 yu » fers The personal mail of members of the Marine Detachment was franked at the 3 cent domestic rate and carried by diplomatic pouch to the U.S. MARINE DETACHMENT - Marine Detachment 20 October 1941 Official Mail — ~~ TIENTSIN Official mail was handled by the Marine Detachment post office without charge, as shown per the above cover carried by diplomatic pouch to the U.S. LATE SENDING PRIOR TO PEARL HARBOR 4th Regt. U.S.M.C. Registered Mail 11 November 1941 THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Kobe, Japan Mre Rella Warner 973 Coronado Drive Glendale, Cover sent by the U.S. Foreign Service office in Kobe, Japan during the intense U.S.-Japanese diplomatic negotiations to stave off the onset of war in the Pacific. It was sent by pouch to the nearest American post office, which was that of the Fourth Marines in Shanghai. There it was mailed to California, with postage of 27 cents being paid (quadruple weight x 3 cents plus 15 cents registration) by a most unusual franking of all 1 cent "Defense" stamps. The way that it actually traveled is uncertain since it would have been caught en route by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It eventually arrived in San Francisco seven weeks later on 29 December 1941 and was delivered in Glendale on the following day.