A member from the Netherlands philatelic group, the ZWP Study Circle, Han Dijkstra, helped me and Ivo Spanjersberg write an article about the postal history of New Guinea and detailed information about the postal issues of the United Nations “UNTEA” forces during the turnover of West New Guinea to Indonesia in the early 1960’s.
Han knows of my interest in New Guinea and Korea and was kind enough to give us this information about the Korean War.
He sent several scans of a rare example of military mail between Korea and Netherlands New Guinea:
He had a similar cover, to Biak, also franked 25c and also with the special flight handstamp on the reverse, which indeed also occurs on non-philatelic mail happening to be transported by the newly introduced air connection between Amsterdam and Sydney. Here very briefly his comments:
- All together 73 troops from Dutch New Guinea have fought in the Korean War.
- Some (incomplete?) specifications from the Ministry of Defense show that 1 military left DNG on 8 May 1951, to arrive in Korea on 28 May; next a group of 50 leaving DNG on 15 August 1951 and arriving 23 August 1951. Then 12 leaving Korea on 6 July 1952 and arriving in DNG on 12 July 1952.
Obviously, rare covers, but maybe more are known within the Korea Study Circle.
In his note to me, Han is referring to the Korea Stamp Society as the “Korea Study Circle”. If any reader knows more about the participation of the Netherlands New Guinea forces in Korea, please let us know.