American APO/FPO Covers - Turkey

Send Email to the Author  2007 2007

This is a representative sample of my collection of APO/FPO covers of American forces in Turkey.  Beginning January 1, 1965, the 5 digit ZIP code came into effect.  For existing APO numbers, digits "09" were placed ahead of the old number.  For example, APO 324 of Karamursel became APO 09324.   The Army Postal Service was replaced by the Army & Air Force Postal Service in 1952.  Covers described and illustrated in these links are pre-ZIP code. Source book for numbers is the United States Numbered Military Post Offices book published by the Military Postal History Society in 1994 hereafter referred to as the "APO book."

1. APO 206A return address with Turkish Ankara 1949 cancel. This is the earliest APO in Turkey related cover I have and it is my favorite. Captain Reidenbaugh was assigned to the Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. I believe the Reidenbaugh cover was posted on 20 April 1949. Evidence supporting 1949 over 1948 comes from the fact that Athens (APO 206) was not established until 15 July 1948. Opening date of APO 206A is given as 9-18-50 and closing date as 1-2-57.
2. USN 525, US Navy 17026    cancelledSep 6, 1954, Izmir. This cover is representative of the only APO book listed navy number in Turkey. The sender, presumably a US MARINE, was attached to HALFSEE (Headquarters, Allied Land Forces South East Europe) at Izmir. Opening and closing dates are not known. This cover indicates the number was in use in late 1954.
3. APO 16  cancelled Oct 31 1961, Cigli Air Base near Izmir, Opening date of APO 16 is given as 9-1-60. It is also listed MAO (mailing address only) up to 12-63. According to the APO book, an MAO is a to direct letters but outgoing mail was supposed to be bundled and cancelled at the nearest full service postal facility - see item 5 below as an example of this sytem. There is however a lot of confusion about this "official" designation and it may just be that the designation may well be omitted in future a future revision of the APO book. APO 16 was redesignated 09016 when ZIP codes were introduced in 1965.
4.APO 133,  cancelled Jan 2 1963, Sinop. The sender of this cover was attached to TUSLOG Det 4, a US ARMY unit. Opening date of APO 133 is given as 10-16-59 and USAF until 9-15-62, becoming US ARMY MAO from 9-16-62 but at least not beyond January 2, 1963! It was redesignated 09133 in 1965.
5. APO 166 return address, Izmir (APO 206 cancelled Dec 30, 1952 is Athens, Greece). APO 166 is listed as an MAO for its entire existence. It opened 11-14-52 and suspended operations sometime in 1953. This illustration is only a fotocopy of a picture post card whose RA (return address) indicates conclusively that it is an early number for HALFSEE. AG initials represent Adjutant General (lawyer).
6. APO 206A   canceled 18 Mar 53, Ankara. The sender of this cover is an air force officer - we know this because TUSAFG-JAMMAT is the acronym for  The United States Air Force Group - Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. The JAMMAT acronym was abolished in 1958 and replaced with JUSMMAT (Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey). APO 206A opened 9-18-50 and ceased operating 1-2-57 being replaced by APO 254.
7. APO 224   cancelled 5 Jun 1956, Izmir. The sender is an air force enlisted man who is a member of TUSLOG Det 20. APO 224 opened 1-1-56 and was redesignated 09224 in 1965. It is also identified as MAO until 1-61 but this cover appears to contest that designation.
7. APO 254 cancelled  4 Apr 1957, Ankara. The sender worked in the American Embassy, in the Air Attache's office. APO 254 opened1-2-57 and redesignated 09254 in 1965. It is also listed in the APO book as MAO until 1-61. It would appear that some of the MAO listings are suspect.
8. APO 294 cancelled 20 Sep 1960, Diyarbakir Air Station. This piece of official mail originated with TUSLOG Detachment 8, a USAF unit. APO 294 opened 7-12-55 and was redesignated 09294 in 1965.
9. APO 289 cancelled 4 Mar 1958, İncirlik Air Base near Adana. This mail originated with TUSLOG Det 50. APO 289 opened 2-17-55, listed as MAO to 1-61 and redesignated 09289 in 1965.
10. APO 324 cancelled Sep 28 1958. This cover (cleaned to remove distracting marks) was sent by me while a member of TUSLOG Det 3 (6933rd Radio Group, Mobile, USAFSS). APO 324 opened 6-3-57 and was redesignated 09324 in 1965. It has a 1-61 MAO as well.
11. APO 329   cancelled 24 May 1962, Samsun. The sender is with USAF unit TUSLOG Det 3-2 which was part of TUSLOG Det 3. APO 329 opened 10-15-58, was MAO to 1-61, and redesignated 09329 in 1965.
12. APO 338   cancelled 3 Sep 1964, Trabzon. The sender is with USAF unit TUSLOG Det 3-1 which also was part of TUSLOG Det 3. APO 338 opened 10-15-58, was MAO to 1-61 and redesignated 09338 in 1965.
13. APO 380  cancelled Jun1 1960, Istanbul. The sender is with a US ARMY unit, FTT 1-A JUSMMAT. APO 380 opened 12-14-56, was listed MAO to 1-61 and redesignated 09380 in 1965.
14. APO 663  cancelled Nov 13 1962, Manzaralı. The sender is with TUSLOG Det 50. APO 663 opened 12-11-62 according to the APO book which is clearly an error if the cancel on this cover is to be accepted as correct. This number was redesignated 09663 in 1965.

APO 166 (check the return addresses for this type - assumed cancellation would be nearest office, that of 206 at Athens.
APO 231-1 for Adana
APO 254-1 for an unknown location within Turkey
APO 254-2 and 254-3 for Eskesehir (254-2 later at Sinop also)
APO 688 and 694 at incirlik/Adana.

If you are willing to part with such items, please email me with details.  If you are a collector, I just might have a duplicate you might need:)  Or if not, at least favor me with a scan?

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