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Oceania/Australia : 1946 British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (B.C.O.F.) - Rare

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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
24 Jul 2015
The average available are 7; the set I have on display has 10. The additional stamps is the blue/black Queen Elizabeth 1d (second from the top left), the antique ‘6’ Kookaburra (second from the top right) and the 5/- (5 shilling) thin paper, the last stamp on the bottom right.

It was illegal during WWII to own any of these stamps mint unhinged, and those who received these stamps were those who the mail was sent to, unfortunately many recipients of the mail had no interest in the stamps and the stamps were thrown away, and there were children who received the envelopes (many such stamps handed to children were ruined).


As a result of the Japanese surrender, the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (B.C.O.F.) was formed with troops from Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and India. Headquarters were in Kure, Japan, and postal services were provided by the Australian Army Postal Service.

These overprints existed as an effort to suppress the black market that had sprung up in the sale of goods from military canteens and stores.

The troops could sell their goods and remit the profits made in the form of Australian stamps which their relatives back home could exchange back to cash at any Australian post office. (The PO charged 5% for this service)

To prevent stamps being 'legal tender' only overprints were subsequently issued and they were only valid for postage from Japan, via, the Australian Army Postal Service (who issued these stamps to the troops in restricted quantities)

The antique '6' Kookaburra was an error; the ‘6’ in 1946 was printed in the wrong font and is very scarce. The thin paper 5/- is scarce, only 6,000 were ever issued.

The Stanley Gibbons catalogue numbers are left to right and starting from the top left.
SG J1-7a; SG J2; SGJ3; SGJ4; SGJ4a; SGJ5; SGJ6; SGJ7; SGJ7a; 2GJ8

All stamps are mint unhinged and well centred.

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The Kookaburra antique '6' has been enlarged to show the difference. the antique '6' is on the right; now compare the antique '6' with the '6' on the B.C.O.F. set above and the difference will be prominent.

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"Specialised Collector of Australian Pre-Decimal & Decimal Stamps"
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