Today in Postal History

British Solomon Islands Domestic Usage
September 24, 1943

This cover was sent as a souvenir from Lunga.
I suspect it was self-addressed.
Lunga is near the site of Henderson field (near Honiara)
on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

In 1942, Guadalcanal was overrun by the Japanese.
Recapture of Guadalcanal was deemed important.
Marines went ashore on August 7, 1942, and, after a difficult battle,
the Japanese withdrew in February, 1943.

There had been four post offices operating in the
British Solomon Islands Protectorate in 1939.
All closed when the Japanese occupied the islands.

Lunga was the first post office to reopen in July, 1943.
The post office had probably been reopened not
much more than 60 days when this cover was sent.

The cover is franked with a complete short set of the
King George VI pictorials issued in 1939 (SG 60 to 68).
The stamps are all tied by seven oval LUNGA SOLOMON IDS date stamps.

I would hypothesize that Lt. (j.g.) J. P. Lowry was an American naval officer
assigned to liaisson duties with the British Resident Commissioner in Lunga.

David Benson found an interesting reference to a Lt. Lowry on this
page about the 'Papua New Guinea Coastwatchers' of World War II.
A Lt. Lowry was an officer on the U.S. submarine Peto
used to transport Coastwatchers to their stations.
The submarine used Guadalcanal as a base in part of 1943.
I believe much intelligence gathering was accomplished under
the cover of the British resident commissioners.


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