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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

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Rhinelander
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03 Apr 2013
08:13:57pm
I received a large batch of about 500 WWII domestic military mail envelopes. This one has me dumbfounded:

Image Not Found


"Military, NY" is that a place? A specific military installation with a post office? Any idea from where this cancel originated?

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lisagrant87
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03 Apr 2013
10:59:50pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

There is a Military Academy in NY. I don't have more info than that right now.

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amsd
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04 Apr 2013
06:56:22am

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re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

There is a military academy, west point, in NY. It is near Highland, about 50 miles north of NYC. Plattsburgh is much further north. I do not think these are related, but have mo better answer. Plattsburgh is now home to an air national guard wing. The corner card IDs it as an army air force (there was no independent air force in 1945) hospital.

Cant wait for the solution

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cdj1122
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04 Apr 2013
07:09:15am
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

You might write a note to these people at the National Postmark museum;

http://www.postmarks.org/museum/

I do not think I ever heard of a town or village named "Military" in New York so I suspect it is connected with Plattsburg Barracks near Lake Champlain, which was a Army Hospital for many years.

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Rhinelander
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04 Apr 2013
01:06:59pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Thank you for the lead on the Military Academy. It is a possibility that the postmark originated from a postoffice at that institution, albeit having "Military Academy" or "West Point" in the cancel in that case would make more sense.

The A.A.F. Convalescent Hospital is part of the pre-printed envelope and since the old location Nashville, Tennessee is crossed out, I don't think it provides current information about the location of the sender.

It would be helpful to find other items with this cancel and/or other mail from Plattsburgh Barracks to narrow down the origin of this quite unusal cancellation.

Arno

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parkinlot
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04 Apr 2013
04:22:35pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

I wonder if it is just a generic military postmark. Found one on Jim Forte's website. He is selling it for $10.

Image Not Found

It is described as Military 1943 machine 1917-1947

He actually has 3 of them all with Plattsburgh Barracks or AAF Convalescent Hospital return addresses.

Bob



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Rhinelander
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04 Apr 2013
08:12:58pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Excellent work, Bob. I consulted Jim Forte's post office list before posting, but not his inventory. It appears that the location "Military, NY" was indeed Plattsburgh Barracks. Of course, why this name was chosen is somewhat mysterious. "Plattsburgh Barracks" or "Plattsburgh, Military Branch" would appear the more logical choices.

The $10 price tag is Forte's standard price for an unremarkable cover and is 90% cost of identifying, describing, scanning, posting, and hosting.

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tomiseksj
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04 Apr 2013
08:53:29pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Quote:

"Of course, why this name was chosen is somewhat mysterious. "Plattsburgh Barracks" or "Plattsburgh, Military Branch" would appear the more logical choices. "



Given the cover was mailed at the end of the WWII period, perhaps the generic "Military" on the postmark in lieu of a specific location was an operational security measure.
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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
04 Apr 2013
10:46:00pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Quote:

"Given the cover was mailed at the end of the WWII period, perhaps the generic "Military" on the postmark in lieu of a specific location was an operational security measure."



That is what I was thinking.

Bob

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Rhinelander
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04 Apr 2013
10:58:49pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

No. I don't think it is a "generic" military cancel used to disguise the place of mailing (a convalescent hospital??). If so, why even include "NY" and above all, what is the point if open return addresses continue to be used. I think we deal with an odd place name. Someone with a NY post ofice list could potentially shed additional light. I don't have the complete Helbock set.

Looks like we almost have it ... Thanks a lot thus far!

Arno

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parkinlot
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05 Apr 2013
09:28:08am
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Arno, I agree that it is odd that it does say New York in the cancel and the return addresses points to a specific military institution but it still may be a generic cancel. If it was first used in 1917, that means it was the middle of WWI. Not sure what the military postal regulations were back then. Perhaps senders were not allowed to put a specific address in the return address. It would be interesting to see a cover with a 1917 postmark.

Unfortunately, I don't really have time right now to research, but just throwing that out there as a possibility.

Bob

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tomiseksj
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05 Apr 2013
01:34:54pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Quote:

"Someone with a NY post ofice list could potentially shed additional light. "


The USPS' listing of New York Post Offices (both active and discontinued) does not show any named "Military."

Jim Forte's listing of Post offices reflects three non-contiguous New York counties that used the "Military" postmark in the WW I timeframe:

Niagara County - Military (1917/1918)
Onondaga County - Military (1917-1918)
Queens County - Military (1917-1917)

The below image was found in an internet search -- it shows an earlier use of the "Military, N.Y." postmark than that posted by Bob.

Image Not Found

Edited to correct typo.
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amsd
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05 Apr 2013
02:31:11pm

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re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

for those not familiar with NY, Queens County is one of New York City's five boroughs (Archie and Meat Head live there); Niagara borders Canada by the big wet ditch; and Onondaga contains Syracuse, a little south of the Great Lakes.

The 1943 postmark belies the cachet, which includes the older style pie plate helmet used by first war doughboys and by soldiers and marines in the opening days of the second war (and were still issued to other services well past 1943).

None of this helps solve the main question, but sure brightens the tangents.

David

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
05 Apr 2013
03:39:24pm
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Quote:

"for those not familiar with NY, Queens County is one of New York City's five boroughs (Archie and Meat Head live there); "



And my beloved NY Mets!!!

Bob

I know, I'm a glutton for punishment.

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Rhinelander
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06 Apr 2013
09:28:56am
re: Info on WWII postmark from Military, NY needed

Hi Bob and Steve,

I have the Swanson book on U.S. WWI domestic military facilities and a collection of such cancels. There are no generic "Military" cancel during the WWI period disguising the location, except for the Hoboken Eagle.

Jim Forte provides a list of post offices, not postmarks. For instance, the entry "Military" for Niagara County, NY likely refers to the short-lived Niagara Falls, Military Branch post office, of which I have an example, but which is not listed. Forte's list is great as a free resource, but better resources exist on a state-by-state basis published by state postal history societies and for specialized areas. By his own admission, quoting from the intro to his listing (excerpt): "This (list) is still far from complete. ... Only a small percentage of stations and branches are listed. ... Most major military bases during World War I and World War II are stations or branches. They are still not yet fully listed. ... I will not get the list to 98-99% accuracy for 150 or 200 years."

To sum it up: expect that a good number of post offices, especially stations and branches, are not (yet?) included in Jim Forte's list of post offices. At a minimum, 1 in 50 post offices is expected to still be missing in 150 years from now, and -- by conjecture -- 1 in 20 (?) might be missing as of now.

Based on the additional examples that Bob and Steve located I believe that our best bet currently is that a post office "Plattsburgh Barracks, NY, Military Station" was (re-)established during WWII which received this unusual cancel. I assume this because of the predominant location Plattsburgh Barracks in the return addresses of all covers. The type of machine cancel, a Universal type DT-600, did not appear until 1925 the earliest, but was still heavily used in the 40s and beyond. Why it says "Military" in the cancel is still a mystery to me, but I would entertain the idea of a clerical or engraving error. Or, perhaps, a purposeful choice to honor the military.

Arno

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