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United States/Covers & Postmarks : World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

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Linus
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10 Dec 2020
12:36:34pm
Today I will share with the club a cover I found many years ago in a small town antiques store in southern Iowa. The U. S. Army postmark is from APO 942 dated December 13, 1944. The cover is "FREE" franked from a soldier stationed in Anchorage, Alaska Territory, and contains a photo-style, Merry Christmas, Alaska totem pole card.

I am not sure of the military group this soldier was with. On first glance, it looks like the 761st, but his pen could have dragged across the paper as he was writing the 161st. I am not sure. Can anybody help solve this mystery?

Linus

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vinman
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10 Dec 2020
01:38:26pm
re: World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

The first numeral 7 not 1 matches the seven on the top of the message. A quick search came up with this.
https://www.jber.jb.mil/News/Articles/Article/1062835/the-end-of-an-era-761st-military-police-battalion-cases-colors/

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Linus
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10 Dec 2020
02:09:24pm
re: World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

Bingo! Thanks for the link, Vinman. I appreciate it.

(For some reason, my searches were not coming up correctly.)


From the article link...

The 761st MP BN can trace its roots to the Alaska Territorial Guard, a military reserve force component of the U.S. Army that was organized in 1942 in response to attacks on American soil. The 761st MP BN was a constabulary unit stationed in the Territory of Alaska at Fort Richardson towards the end of World War II.

Linus

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vinman
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10 Dec 2020
05:29:30pm
re: World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

Linus,
I understand about problems with searches. I think I was lucky with this. At first I thought it may have something to do with the "Colored Troops" that were sent to build the Alcan Highway. You can read more about them here. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/construction-alaska-highway-1942-role-race-far-north/

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Linus
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10 Dec 2020
05:35:37pm
re: World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

Yes, that is exactly what I kept getting, the wrong 761st for this cover. Then I started second-guessing myself into thinking it might be the 161st instead.

Linus

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
05 Feb 2021
09:48:50pm
re: World War II Christmas Card From Alaska to Iowa

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Here's some history you may also find interesting. During WWII the government took over Atlantic City, New Jersey's grand hotels to house troops in training for the war effort.

I love covers like this since they just ooze with history! I made sure to keep this one in my New Jersey cover collection.

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