Today in Postal History


Greece to United States
January 10, 1945

This cover arrived in a diplomatic pouch from Athens.
The sender was on the staff of the American Embassy in Athens
and made use of the diplomatic pouch to send mail home.

The handling requirements were simple.
Mail had to be franked  with proper  postage from
the country where the message went into the pouch.
On arrival in Washington, D.C., the pouch mail was
processed through the State Department post office.
There the stamps were cancelled and the item
was generally stamped with a legend such as:
This article originally mailed    
In country indicated by postage.

The letter then went into the regular mail.

This cover received four strikes of a Washington, D.C.,  numeral 1 duplex.

Its destination was Santa Barbara, California,
78 miles northwest of Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast.

The cover is franked with stamps issued in
1944-45 after liberation from German occupation.
The stamps were made by overprinting the handsome cultural
designs used in the 1937 regular issue before World War II.

The overprint indicates that the issues are denominated in New Drachma.*

The cover was franked with two 50 lepta brown and black
portraying Diagoras at Rhodes, a victor at the Olympics (Scott 455).
There is one each of the 2 drachma ultramarine portraying the battle at Salamis
and the 5 drachma red Chariot of Panathenaic Festival (Scott 456 and 457).

Can anyone explain the small box stamp?

I think it may have been added at the embassy.

*Thanks to Tony Hodgson for confirming that the overprint translates to "New Drachmas."


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