Korean paquebot covers (1954) Part I: Busan and Incheon 1951-1953

Articles Paquebot

Universal Postal Union regulations have for many years allowed that mail posted ON THE HIGH SEAS, and bearing stamps of the same country whose flag the vessel flies, might be put ashore at the first port of call, where it is postmarked with the paquebot marking of that port and sent on its way to the addressee. The Republic of Korea, however, had not utilized paquebot mail until it was introduced there in late 1951 by Captain Charles E. Milbury, who is noted for his famous “Sea-Jug Post”.

I have been fortunate in acquiring examples of all the various types of Korean paquebot markings known to date. The first paquebot mail was sent from Pusan, Korea on December 25, 1951, and this mail was stamped with a special rubber stamp supplied by Capt. Milbury at his own expense. These first covers were questioned as to their authenticity by several writers in the philatelic press. This matter was cleared up by a letter from Rew, Wan Sik, an official of the Ministry of Communications, Republic of Korea, in which he stated that these covers of December 25, 1951 were the first accepted as paquebot mail by the Republic of Korea. I have never seen figures as to the number of covers posted on that date except reference to the ‘fact that the number was small.

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1950s and 1960s articles on paquebot covers
In the early years of the KSS several members were active paquebot collectors. In fact, some were not just active as collectors but also as “creators” of paquebot covers. Captains Kirby and Milbury are amongst those people who actively made sure paquebot covers from Korea (with for instance Busan and Incheon cancellations) were created. Their activities and the accompanying covers were then written about by other KSS members. Some of that information is republished here in a short series of articles. This part is a reprint of an article written by KSS member Talbert B. Fowler, Jr., (KSS #53) in Korean Philately Vol. III No. 11 (August 1954).

Photo of the Irenestar (unknown photographer), one of the ships mentioned in this article.
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