Notes from the Past

Services Not Keen for Overprints

George R. Wren, WOJG, USA, writes that the 6¢ airmail overprinted envelopes are slowly being adopted by servicemen who have been accustomed to the 6¢ orange envelopes and want to be certain that their mail gets back to the home folks in a hurry.  there is such a saving in time in transit that most servicemen, despite their free franking privilege for ordinary mail, prefer to prepay their letters by airmail.  They are suspicious of the overprinted 2¢ envelopes in the belief that the envelopes are already cancelled and would be delayed, thus, in handling and in the fear that at best, the envelope is but a "2¢" item.  This is understandable when you learn that the Navy has had many complaints of postmasters, contrary to instructions, rating the overprinted airmail envelopes with "postage due."  Servicemen likewise shied away from the 6¢ orange airmail envelopes when first issued without the colored borders feeling that they were "mistakes" and of no value in airmail and likely to be overlooked in transit.  These are thoughts which would naturally occur to men far from home and unfamiliar with the vagaries of postal issues.
 
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
Stamps
June 30, 1945
Posted October 18, 1999

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