Roger A. Wentworth, USCS #9963
I began collecting FDC covers and U.S. postage stamps when I was about 10 years old. I then branched out into U.S. Possession covers and stamps when I was in high school in the mid 60’s. I primarily collected covers and stamps from the Canal Zone, Hawaii, Shanghai, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and U.S. Navy Fleet Post Offices. It was during this period that I came across my first naval cover from the USS TEXAS with a reference to the Canal Zone in the killer bars, and a cachet of Theodore Roosevelt, autographed by E. O. Tauer. I was hooked from that point on and began to collect C.Z. related naval covers. I also began to collect any naval covers that I could find with Theodore Roosevelt cachets on them and from any other philatelic venue as well. I also collected covers from the South Pole. My father “wintered over” down there twice and use to send me covers that he had cancelled and which had some interesting and varied Operation Deep Freeze cachets on them. (My Father, ACCM, was a career Navy man, as were all his uncles, and some of his cousins. The Wentworth family has a long naval heritage that goes back as far as the British navy in the 1600’s.)
I myself spent a few years in the Navy as an Air Traffic Controlman, and served aboard the USS FORRESTAL. I was on board when she caught fire in 1967 in the Gulf of Tonkin. During this period, I use to trek up to the ship’s post office and make covers with dates of our ports of call. I also use to get some covers made on some of our escort vessels when we were in port with them on our various cruises. The P.C.s would let me cancel them myself. I mailed these to my Father, who saved them for me until I got out of the Navy. I recently donated most these covers to the USS FORRESTAL Association, of which I am a member.
After the Navy, I went to college at the University of Georgia and attained B.S. and M.A. degrees in U.S. History. My focus was of course on U.S. Naval History. After college I joined the Canal Zone Study Group, the U.S. Possessions Philatelic Society, and the Theodore Roosevelt Association. It was about this time that someone turned me onto the U.S.C.S., but I did not join until the late 80’s however, at the behest of C.B. (Chuck) Hall, Bob Quintero, and Gary Rogak, all hand painted (H/P) cachet makers. These three friends talked me into making naval cachets and were among my very first customers. My first ever naval cover customers were Capt. Bob Rawlins and Keith Kraft. I have been an H/P naval cachet maker ever since. (Prior to that, I had been making cachets for the FDCs of U.S stamps(which I still do), and some add on (A/O) cachets for certain U.S. & C.Z. postage stamps, mostly with Theodore Roosevelt cachets. I made my first such cachet in 1978.)
I have been active in the U.S.C.S. as an article writer off and on since I joined, and was once Data Sheet Chairman and wrote several myself. I wrote my first article for the LOG about Navy Day in1989. I have also co-authored two boos with Robert J. Karrer (Isthmian Collector’s Club President) on Canal Zone related naval covers, one of which was published jointly by the C.Z.S.G. and the U.S.C.S, and which won The Cardinal Spellman Silver Medal for Philatelic Literature. I am currently semi-retired, working part time in retail. I spend the majority of my time making my H/P cachets, and selling them to dealers and my regular monthly subscribers. My H/P cachets have a wide variety of naval themes. Those of you who wish to view them can easily find some of my cachets on Ebay.
The pride of my cover collecting activities over the years is my Theodore Roosevelt cachet/cover collection. I have over 30 albums full for such covers (over 2,600 covers/no two alike) which encompass every philatelic venue from FDCs to naval covers, as well as foreign covers. I continue to find a new cover for this collection nearly every month on Ebay. Other collectors in this topic have told me it is the largest collection of its kind they have ever seen. I plan on donating this collection to the Theodore Roosevelt Association upon my demise.
by Roger Wentworth