New WW II APO Book Now Available (2006)

Bart Billings writes: "I wanted to let you know that we've just completed the APO book that Bob Payne, Reg Morris and I have been working on for at least 10 years. Toward the end we were provided with important info from Russ Carter. So, considering all aspects, this publication will probably be the final effort this triumvirate will offer."

New Book Review

Authored by Bart Billings in conjunction with Russ Carter, Bob Payne, and Reg Morris, this 2 volume work provides a complete catalog of all known machine postal markings. Each book has a clear acetate protector over a card stock cover. The cover has color illustrations of a few of the special APO covers that are eagerly sought.

After more than sixty years since the end of WW II, there is finally a complete catalog of machine impressed postal markings used by the U.S.Army to cancel soldier's mail.

Previously the author prepared several publications covering the APO numbers up to APO 400. This work includes that data and extends the coverage through the 900 series of APOs as well as all the BPOs (Base Post Offices). The document now has grown to about 300 pages set forth in 2 volumes. Now the collector has a single handbook containing a catalog of all known APOs that used machines to process mail. This publication is mostly a catalog listing the APOs, and illustrating almost all the cancels used by each APO.

Of importance is an added feature that prices each cancel and provides a Value Guide in the tabulation of each APO. Machine cancels are assigned values from "very common" (VC) to "extremely rare" (ER) with price ranges from $1.00 - $5.00 for VC values, to $200 or more for ER values.

A key item is the Index of APOs, which provides a listing of all the APOs, showing which of the seven basic models of machines was used at each APO. The page where the APO listing and illustrations may be found is also given. This is a most useful chart for both the casual collector, and for the collector who may be interested in one make or one model machine.

As long as the APO number in known, the beginning collector can easily learn what make machine impressed a given cancel by checking the table.

Another important feature is the Type chart, which describes, and illustrates the various models and types of machines. All machines were provided by International Postal Supply Company, or the Pitney Bowes Company. The Pitney Bowes company had acquired the Universal Stamping Machine Company a few years before the War. Pitney Bowes also licensed the Universal Postal Frankers, Ltd. in the UK to make and sell machines.

The reader will find some interesting stories associated with the military activities, including the following:

  • The UN Charter- see APO 234 (Vol II, page 55);
  • Ernie Piles death- see APO 245 (Vol II, page 60);
  • The first nuclear bomb drop on Japan- see APO 336 (Vol II, page 62).
  • The Phantom Division and the Bridge at Remagen-see APO 259 (Vol II, page 68)
  • The Greenland Patrol- see APO 809 (page Vol II, 172,3).

This work consists of two bound Volumes with a total of about 300 pages. A work of this type is never fully completed, so additional entries are expected. Nevertheless, the authors believe its state of completeness warrants the packaging. It may be years before sufficient data is available for a new revision to be published.

The publication has been completed, and a limited number of advance copies have been supplied to leading Philatelic media, and to leading dealers. The Printer will make the 1st production run in sufficient time to be available for Xmas gifts.

The two volume set may be ordered by visiting the MCS Publications Page.

Additional Links

Contact information for the Society's President.

Main Machine Cancel Society Page

Originally Posted on Machine Cancel Society Website in 2006

Updated February 14, 2020

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