Holiday Theme Cachets
By John Young (USCS #L-8219)
During the early 1930s, cover collectors began requesting holiday cancels from the Navy Mail Clerks. They would insert specific wording between the killer bars denoting specific holidays i.e., CHRISTMAS, THANKSGIVING & NAVY DAY, etc.
As more and more persons became interested in collecting naval covers, others got interested the business of producing cachets to dress up the left side of the envelope. One of the first cachets commemorated 1930 Navy Day. By 1932, there were nine sponsored cachets for Navy Day. Two years later there were 72 different cachets for Navy Day- 12 sponsored by USCS chapters, 28 sponsored by individual USCS members.
As the hobby expanded, so did the holiday theme of the cachets. These are some of the holidays that you might want to collect. Some are major holidays; while others are a day that the sponsor thought the collector might have an interest.
New Years Day
Usually celebrated on the night between December 31st & January 1st where people wish one another, a happy and prosperous coming year.
USCS Chapter #7 cachet posted aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB 38) on 1 JAN 1934 with wording START YOUR/ RESOLUTIONS in killer bars. Artist: Sue Monette. Sponsors: B.J. Dean & J.W. Beck, “Fighting Bob” Evans Chapter, San Pedro, CA
USCS Chapter #6 thermo cachet posted aboard USS MOFFETT (DD 362) on 1 JAN 1937 with wording OUR FIRST/ NEW YEARS DAY in killers. Sponsor: Louis Kasmer, Admiral Moffett Chapter, Chicago IL
Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12th)
Abraham Lincoln, the16th President of the United States.
USCS Chapter #7 cachet posted aboard USS TEXAS (BB 35) on 12 FEB 1934. Mail clerk used type 8 (flag) cancel. Sponsor: Walter Crosby, Evans Chapter, San Pedro
USCS Chapter #33 cachet posted at U.S. Naval Hospital (League Island), Philadelphia on 12 FEB 1936. Sponsor: Joseph Bronesky, USS Milwaukee Chapter
Valentine’s Day (February 14th)
A day (named after an early Christian martyr) where Americans give presents, usually candy and flowers, to the one they love.
Sarah Litton cachet posted aboard USS NORTHAMPTON (CA 26) with type 9 & fancy (N-18c) cancels on 14 FEB 1936. Wording ST. VALENTINE DAY/ GREETINGS between killers of fancy cancel
USCS Chapter #33 cachet posted aboard U.S. Receiving Ship, Philadelphia on 14 FEB 1936. Sponsor: Joseph Bronesky, USS Milwaukee Chapter
Washington’s Birthday (February 22nd)
The birthday George Washington, of a “Hero of the American Revolutionary War” & the first President of the United States.
USCS Chapter #7 cachet posted aboard USS TEXAS (BB 35) on 22 FEB 1934 with WASHINGTON’S/ BIRTHDAY in the killers. Sponsor: Walter Crosby, Evans Chapter, San Pedro
USCS Chapter #33 cachet posted aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA on 22 FEB 1936 with OUR FIRST/ PRESIDENT in killers. Sponsor: Joseph Bronesky, USS Milwaukee Chapter. b.s. R.C. Delagnes, Cachet Director (USCS #1018A), USS PENNSYLVANIA
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
A day celebrated by Irish- Americans to honor the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick brought Christianity to the pagan nation, using the shamrock to explain his religious belief. He died on March 17th in A.D. 461. It was first celebrated in Boston, MA in 1737.
Byrd Powell’s thermo cachet posted aboard USS KANAWHA (AO 1) on 17 MAR 1935 with SLK/ R.L HAMMOCK, Navy Mail Clerk aboard the ship. Ship’s cachet “Oil Can of the Fleet” on reverse.
USCS Chapter #48 cachet posted aboard USS BENHAM (DD 397) on 17 MAR 1939 with NAVY YARD/ NEW YORK in killers. Sponsor: Fred Lammlin, David Bushnell Chapter, New Haven CT
April Fools Day (April 1st)
Not a holiday, but a notable day celebrated in many countries, marked by hoaxes and other practical jokes aimed to embarrass the gullible. It stemmed from the change of the Julian to the Gregorian calendars.
John Von Losberg’s April Fools cover posted aboard U.S. Receiving Ship, Brooklyn on 1 APR 1935 with USS SEATTLE/ NAVY YARD. Note the Roosevelt portrait (from 5 cents stamp) within the frame of the 4 cents Taft stamp. Anybody have the reverse?
Alex Hesse thermo cachet commemorating April Fools Day posted aboard USS NAUTILUS (SS 168) on 1 APR 1936. Hesse was printer & cachet director for the ANCS Argonauts (submarine covers) and Brooklyn (surface vessels) Crews.
Army Day (April 6th)
First celebrated on May 1, 1928, the date was chosen in hopes to dampening the communists’ celebration of “Workers Day.” In 1929, the day was changed to April 6th, the anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War One. Observed nationally until 1949.
Walter Crosby cachet posted aboard USS MISSISSIPPI (BB 41) on 6 APR 1935 with SAN PEDRO/ CALIFORNIA in killers. The wording below denotes the 18th Anniversary of the severance of Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Germany.
Don Graf’s cachet commemorates Army Day posted aboard USS GYATT (DD 712) on 6 APR 1949. Since 1950, individual service days were no longer celebrated with the establishment of Armed Forces Day.
Celebrating the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
USCS Chapter #7 cachet posted aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA on 1 APR 1934 with EASTER/ GREETINGS in killers. Sponsor: Sarah Litton, Evans Chapter, San Pedro CA
USCS Chapter #21 cachet posted aboard USS RELIEF (AH 1) on 21 APR 1935 with EASTER/ GREETINGS in killers. Sponsor: Fred Anders, USS Pennsylvania Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA
Armed Forces Day
Observed annually (since 1950) on a day honoring the members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
USCS Chapter #6 cachet commemorating 1st Armed Force Day posted aboard USS MINDORO (CVE 120) on 20 MAY 1950
USCS Chapter #11 cachet posted aboard USS FORRESTAL (CVA 59) on 17 MAY 1969
Dewey Day (May 1st)
Admiral George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay and first four-star admiral with the title “Admiral of the Navy”.
USCS Chapter #8 cachet posted aboard USS BLACK HAWK (AD 9) on 1 MAY 1934 with DEWEY DAY/ KOBE JAPAN in killers. Sponsor: L.H. Markley, Admiral Dewy Chapter, Harrisburg PA
USCS Chapter #8 cachet posted aboard USS BRAZOS (AO 4) on 1 MAY 1934 with BROOKLYN/ NAVY YARD in killers. Sponsor: John Grove, Dewey Chapter, York PA
Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)
First observed in Philadelphia (1907) when children honored their mothers with cards, gifts and flowers. President Wilson’s proclamation (1914) made Mothers Day, a national observance to be held each year.
Byrd Powell’s cachet posted aboard USS MISSISSIPPI (BB 41) on 12 MAY 1935 with MOTHER’S DAY/ HONOLULU in killers. Mail clerk applied the ship’s embossed seal on the cover.
USCS Chapter #33 cachet posted aboard USS DECATUR (DD 341) on 8 MAY 1938 with NOB/ NORFOLK VA in killers. Sponsor: Joseph Bronesky, USS Milwaukee Chapter
William Linto sponsored cachet, posted aboard USS CUYAMA (AO 3) with MOTHERS DAY in the killer bars on 8 MAY 1938. Number 11 of 84 covers issued, Linto cachet #70.
Memorial Day (May 30th)
Originated in the aftermath of the Civil War, it has become a day which on the dead of all wars, are remembered in special programs held in cemeteries, churches and other public meeting places.
Eric Tauer’s cachet posted aboard USS TEXAS on 30 MAY 1932 with MEMORIAL DAY/ LONG BEACH in killers. Note memorial envelope sent by M.M. Grey to sponsor. Walter Crosby sold most the battleship’s covers as official cachets during this period.
Leo Miller’s cachet posted aboard USS NORTHAMPTON on 30 MAY 1934 with fancy cancel (N-18c). Mail clerk, Miller placed wording ALWAYS/ REMEMBERED in the killers. Cachet artist: C. Wright Richell. Miller was mail clerk aboard the cruiser.
Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June)
First observed in Spokane, WA (1909), where Mrs. Sonora Dodd thought to honor her father, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. President Johnson’s proclamation (1966) made Fathers Day, a national observance to be held each year.
Walter Czubay’s cachet posted aboard USS VESTAL (AR 4) with its fancy cancel (V-8c). The wording FIRST DAY/ THIS CANCEL indicates its usage on Fathers Day, 1940.
Flag Day (June 14th)
Observed in the United States to commemorate (1777) the adoption of the Stars & Stripes by the Continental Congress.
USCS Chapter #4 cachet posted aboard USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA 36) on 14 JUN 1934 with NAVY YARD/ PHILA PA in killers. Cachet depicts the Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia. Cachet director: Richard Green, Stephen Decatur Chapter, Philadelphia PA
USCS Chapter #13 cachet posted aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA on 14 JUN 1934 with FLAG DAY/ NEW YORK in killers. Cachet director: R.L. Schoenberger, Theodore Roosevelt Chapter, Bronx, NY
Independence Day (July 4th)
The nation’s birthday was created with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Byrd Powell’s cachet posted aboard USS BOBOLINK (AM 20) on 4 JUL 1934 with NATIONAL/ BIRTHDAY in killers.
USCS Chapter #5 cachet posted aboard USS RICHMOND (CL 9) on 4 JUL 1934 with GUANTANAMO/ BAY- IN CUBA in killers. Sponsor: C. Wright Richell, Oliver Hazard Perry Chapter, Columbus OH
Leonard Rogers’ cachet posted aboard USS BROOKS (DD 232) on 4 JUL 1935 with MID COLUMBIA/ REGATTA in killers.
USCS Chapter #48 cachet posted aboard USS RICHMOND (CL 9) on 4 JUL 1938 with NAVY YARD/ PORTSMOUTH in killers. Cachet director: Henry Wright, Bushnell Chapter, New Haven CT
USCS Chapter #79 cachet posted aboard USS MT. VERNON ( ) on 4 JUL 1999.
Coast Guard Day (August 4th)
Anniversary date of the establishment of a system of cutters founded by Alexander Hamilton for the protection of the coast of the United States (1790). The cutters later became the Revenue-Marine or the Revenue Cutter Service, and this service was merged with the U.S. Lifesaving Service to become the Coast Guard in January 1915.
York Briddell’s cachet machine canceled in St. Petersburg, FL on 4 AUG 1932. It commemorates the 142nd Anniversary of the Establishment of the U.S. Coast Guard. The addressee was John Young’s stamp dealer in the South Bronx during the 1950s.
Walter Grabowy’s cachet commemorates 200th Anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard. Posted with pictorial cancel from Grand Haven, MI on 4 AUG 1990. Their Bicentennial year started in Newburyport, MA (1989) and ended in Coast Guard City, USA.
A legal holiday (since 1894) celebrated on the first Monday in September in all states of the United States in honor of the working class. The day was initiated in 1882 by the Knights of Labor, who held a large parade in New York City. Two years later, the Knights held the parade on the first Monday in September and passed a resolution to hold all future parades on that day. In 1887, legislation was passed in Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey & New York making it a holiday.
Russell Sheets’ cachet posted aboard USS NORTHAMPTON on 3 SEP 1934 with FORTRESS/ MONROE VA in killers. This cachet was “King of 1934 Cachets” contest sponsored by Stamps Magazine. Sheets was member of Chapter #5, Columbus OH
USCS Chapter #24 cachet posted aboard USS PENNSYLVANIA on 2 SEP 1935 with SAN PEDRO/ LABOR DAY in killers. Cachet director: Robert Graham, U.S. Fleet Chapter aboard the battleship. Cachet artist: John Coulthard, Modesto, CA
Columbus Day (October 12th)
It was first celebrated in New York City (1792) by the Society of St. Tammany or Columbian Order, which became widely known as “Tammany Hall.” October 12th was the day that Columbus first sighted the new world on his first voyage.
Harry Ioor’s envelope documents Columbus Day, posted aboard USS CINCINNATI (CL 6) on 12 OCT 1932 with BREMENTON/ WASHINGTON in killers.
Fred Horton’s cachet posted aboard USS TUTUILA (PR 4) on 12 OCT 1938. Due to the shortage of postage stamps in China, LT. Tolley had “ Sailor’s Mail” frank made under Postal Regs., Par. 515 (payment by addressee).
Note: smaller version of printer’s (HUX) cut.
Navy’s Birthday (October 13th)
CNO Admiral Zumwvyalt (1972) established the Navy’s birthday, tracing the date when Continental Congress established a Navy on October 13, 1775.
USCS Chapter #11 cachet commemorating the 200th Birthday of the United States Navy, posted aboard USS GUAM (LPH 9) on 13 OCT 1975.
Navy Day (October 27th)
America honored the United States Navy on Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday because he was considered the “Father of the Modern Steel Navy.” Observed annually from 1922 through 1949.
STANLOS’ cachet posted aboard U.S. Receiving Ship, Brooklyn on 27 OCT 1934 with FIRST LINE/ OF DEFENSE in killers. Cachet director: John von Losberg. Printer: Mike Sanders. Sanders border envelope with thermo printed cachet of Roosevelt
USCS Chapter #6 embossed printed cachet posted aboard USS TARPON (SS 175) on 27 OCT 1936 with NAVY DAY/ PORTSMOUTH in killers. Sponsor: Louis Kramer, Moffett Chapter, Chicago IL
Halloween (October 31st)
The evening before All Saints Day or All Hallows Day, where American children dress up in funny or scary costumes, go “trick or treating”- knocking on doors in their neighborhood. Neighbors are expected to respond by giving small gifts- usually candy or money.
Don Graf’s cachet commemorates Halloween, posted aboard USS RICHARD E. KRAUS (DD 849) on 31 OCT 1948.
William Linto sponsored cachet, posted aboard USS GEORGE E, BADGER (AVD 3) with HAMPTON RDS/VIRGINIA in the killer bars on 31 OCT 1940. Number 33 of 95 covers issued, Linto cachet #124.
Marine Corps Birthday (November 10th)
On this day the Continental Congress (1775) authorized a “corps of marines” to serve aboard armed vessels during the war. They were disbanded along with the Army & Navy.
John Lawrence’s cachet posted at Regimental Hospital, Shanghai, China on 10 NOV 1936 with DEVIL DOGS/ OF THE SEA in killers. Lawrence was a Navy Corpsman that served with the Marine Corps’ (pharmacists mate). Cachet documents 161st Birthday!
USCS Chapter #11 cachet commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the Marine Corps, posted aboard USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7) on 10 NOV 1975.
Armistice Day (November 11th)
Established in 1926 (President Coolidge) to display the flag on official buildings commemorating the armistice ending the Great War (World War I). In 1938, FDR signed legislation making a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.
Eric Tauer’s Armistice Day cachet posted aboard USS TEXAS on 11 NOV 1932 with type 6 cancel. The sender, G.B. Bompart sent cover to President-elect after FDR’s victory in the 1932 election. Reverse has two-line Hammer stamp indicating Roosevelt collection.
Leonard Rogers’ cachet posted aboard USS MANLEY (DD 74) on 11 NOV 1934 with LEST WE/ FORGET.
Veterans Day (November 11th)
Established in 1954 (President Eisenhower) to honor all veterans (living & dead) of the Armed Forces of the United States that served during that last five major wars from the Civil War through the Korean Conflict.
USCS Chapter #3 cachet commemorating Veteran’s Day posted aboard USS FORRESTAL (CVA 59) on 11 NOV 1966. Sponsor: Jack Donoghue, Farragut Chapter, New York. Printer: Alex Hesse
Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November)
A holiday that dates back to 1621, where the Puritans celebrated their first year in the Massachusetts Colony
Leo Miller’s cachet posted aboard USS NORTHAMPTON on 28 NOV 1935 with THANKSGIVING/ DAY in killers. Artist: C. Wright Richell
USCS Chapter #33 (USS Milwaukee) cachet commemorates Thanksgiving posted aboard USS HERBERT (DD 160) on 28 NOV 1935. Cover were sent to Decatur Chapter, as it has Meyer Tuchinsky’s corner card. He had covers canceled while the destroyer was in Philadelphia Navy Yard, as indicated by wording in the killers.
Christmas (December 25th)
A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of the Christ Child. It should be noted that “Xmas”- the tradition began in the early Christian church. In Greek, X is the first letter of Christ’s name- it was frequently used as a holy symbol.
USCS Chapter #7 cachet posted aboard USS BROOKS (DD 232) on 25 DEC 1933 with HOLIDAY/ GREETINGS in killers. Sponsor: Sarah Litton Artist: Clyde G. Morris
Byrd Powell’s thermo cachet posted aboard USS ARCTIC (AF 7) on 25 DEC 1935 with CHRISTMAS/ GREETINGS in killers.
Byrd Powell’s cachet posted aboard USS GREBE (AM 43) on 25 DEC 1936 with SAN PEDRO/ CALIFORNIA in killers. Signed by mail clerk, W.A. Foster.