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Asia/China : China First Flight Cover From 1937

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Linus
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02 Feb 2018
02:47:47pm
Today, I was working on the rather messy China cover below, from my postal history collection:

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I was trying to figure out the return address: Return to Bode - USS Black Hawk c/o 4th ??????? - Shanghai China. Can anybody decode the word, circled in yellow above? For the life of me, I just cannot figure it out.

Thanks,
Linus

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Ningpo
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02 Feb 2018
03:35:05pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

The first letter matches that of the prefix on the first line of the addressee; which to my eyes appears to be a 'W'. However, I am unfamiliar with abbreviated US military titles; if indeed that is what it is. That prefix looks like 'Wng', to me.

But the rest of it is most unclear: Wau??(?)s.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Feb 2018
03:35:17pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

4th Marines, stationed in China from 1927 through 1941. they were based in Shanghai.

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Ningpo
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02 Feb 2018
03:38:36pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

Good grief; an M that looks like a W. That's more like the old German way of writing.

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Linus
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02 Feb 2018
03:44:23pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

Thank you, David! "Mrs." and "Marines" it is, the old upside down M trick got me!

Linus

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Feb 2018
03:45:44pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

Clive,

the penmanship is atrocious; I made it out by looking at his other words that were more distinct (look at "Mr" on the front).

I'm not sure that Marines served on destroyer tenders (I suspect not), but he may have just been hitching a ride.

nice to know that philatelist and Marine can co-exist in harmony

David

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Feb 2018
03:47:12pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

it also helps to know that the 4th Marines served in China in the interwar period: it opens a line of possibility

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Linus
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02 Feb 2018
03:51:45pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

Makes sense, David. I think the addressee is Mrs. Helen S. Bode. Could be sent home to his mother, perhaps.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
16 Feb 2018
09:47:05am
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

During the thirties the USS Black Hawk (AD-9)
was stationed at Chefoo China although at times
she made a run to Singapore and/or Manila.
Shanghai must have been another run.
Typically Destroyer tenders, Submarine Tenders
and Aircraft tenders remained moored or anchored
in place for long terms, getting underweigh
once a year to clear the coffee grounds
that build up beneath the keel.

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The USS Black Hawk

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
Linus
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16 Feb 2018
06:46:32pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

Charlie, thanks for adding to this thread. My latest research project shown below is related to your comments. I bought this real photo at a stamp show in Chicago years ago for my postal history collection. There is nothing written or printed on the back. The front has white cursive writing that says, "Navy Y. 115 Chefoo" and shows a horizontal flagpole coming out of the building on the right with a Chefoo flag hanging down from it. For a long time, I could not figure out exactly what this was. I thought it might be Navy Yard 115 or something.

Then by pure luck, I was recently in an antiques store in Boone, Iowa, USA, and I found the next item scanned below, an old postcard showing the "Auditorium of the Navy Y.M.C.A. Chefoo, China" and BINGO, that was it! The old photo was the outside of the Navy YMCA in Chefoo, China with the YMCA flag, and the old postcard was showing the inside view of it. I should have known that the "Y" is always short for YMCA, but I did not realize they built Navy YMCAs in China at that time. By looking at the old car in the photo, I think this is the 1920s or 1930s time period. I also think these are American Navy men as shown by their white uniforms. Do you agree?

Linus

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Linus
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03 Jan 2020
10:44:06am
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

I recently saw this interesting card for sale on eBay, which promotes the Navy YMCA in Shanghai, but would apply to the YMCA in Chefoo. It lists all the things a serviceman could do at the YMCA, obviously trying to promote good behavior while in port, on liberty.

Linus

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
09 Nov 2020
08:02:13pm
re: China First Flight Cover From 1937

I have a similar card, circa 1966 or '67
for a club (Definitely neither YMCA nor USO.)
that was handed out to sailors for an
entertainment club in Muroran, Hokkaido,
Japan that has been in the front of a pocket
sized notebook for over 60 years now.
I think there is one from a club in Yokohama
as well. They advertised the "night clubs"
and both had small detailed maps on the
reverse.
Such cards, about twice as big as a modern
business card were quite common throughout
the Far East ports. Some were quite explicit
about what a lonely sailor might find on
the premises. Too bad I never thought to
save them purposefully.
For the uninitiated, Hokkaido is the northern
most of the large Japanese islands while
Yokohama, on Honshu, the largest island is
on Tokyo Bay near Tokyo in one direction and
Yokosuka in the other.

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