Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Tale of Two LC Envelopes During WWII

I've had the first envelope shown above in my collection for a number of years. It is an "Official Business" penalty cover for the Library of Congress Card Division which was mailed by "Hurdis" on June 12, 1944.  It was mailed to Brigadier General Charles E. Hurdis via Army Post Office #6 in San Francisco.  At the time General Hurdis was serving in the 6th Infantry Division where it was engaged in combat with the Japanese in New Guinea.  Hurdis was later promoted to Commanding General of the 6th Infantry Division and ended his career as a Major General. The cover is not in great condition which could be expected for a cover that was received in a combat zone. I had not been able to identify the "Hurdis" who mailed the cover until recently. At the American Philatelic Society's stamp show in Virginia in August 2010 I came across the second envelope shown above.  From a philatelic perspective the cover is interesting because it was mailed "Special Delivery" from the Canal Zone and uses a United States 10 cent special delivery stamp in conjunction with two 3 cent Canal Zone stamps. The Canal Zone didn't have its own special delivery stamps. The cover was mailed on May 2, 1942 by Private W. K. Harrison at Fort Amador, C.Z. and was was passed by an Army censor. It was received by the Library of Congress on May 13, 1942.  The most interesting thing about the cover for me was that it was addressed to Sara B. Hurdis in the Card Division of the Library of Congress which provided me with the full name of the person who sent the first cover shown.  Sara B. Hurdis mailed that cover to her father Brigadier General Charles E. Hurdis. The Card Division was one of the largest and most active divisions of the Library of Congress and Sara Hurdis was one of many who worked at the Library during World War II.  What are the chances of acquiring independently two related Library of Congress covers out of the millions of covers that have been sent to and from the Library of Congress?

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