by Russ Carter
Almost nothing in military cover collecting is as mysterious as those 4 and 5 digit APO numbers. There have been questions on what they were called, how they worked, who got them, and where they were or went. The previous edition of this book listed about 600 of these APOs but was little more than a listing from couple of cover collections. So much new information has been gathered that a whole volume was required.
This volume is the culmination of several years' research in the National Archives and lists over 21,000 numbers. Most of these numbers list the date they were assigned and where they were going. The story begins with the first assignment in December 1941 to the last one recorded in April 1947. There are sample documents to show not only the source of the information but also how the system worked. Included, for example, is a document assigning a temporary APO to comedian Jack Benny.
The volume takes you through each feature of a temporary APO and tells who used them and why, how many people used them, where they were used, and so forth. Of particular interest is information on how to decipher a cover: what numbers were set-aside for special purposes and what the suffixes or letters and additional numbers meant. Along with this, one will find what it means when a cover is or is not censored, why Navy cancels are on some covers, and how to figure out where a cover was posted when there is only a killer cancel or no cancels.
The book is 417 numbered pages with 17 illustrations, 9 documents, and 1 chart. It is 8.5 by 11 inches loose leaf and 3 hole punched. The paper version of this book can ordered from APS Book Sales Page [You must manually locate the book in these web page listings.]
Orders for CD (electronic) versions of the book can be filled by following the instructions near the bottom of the the Military Postal History Society publications page.