New Marshall Island Postmark- More Questions than Answers

This cancel just arrived. What is happening in Kwajalein? Does any one know? This is a Marshall Islands Postal Authority (MIPSA) with USPS below it. Which is confusing because it appears that the MIPA is under the the auspices of the United States Postal Service.

Additionally, prior to the Marshall Islands postal independence the Kwaj post office was operated by the USPS as a branch of the Honolulu Post Office. After the Marshalls Postal Independence the US Army Post Office took responsibility for both this and the Roi-Nam Post Office thought they are staffed by a US contractor. The Marshall Islands Postal Service have never operatd Post Offices at either place. So now w see a standard Marshall Islands Postal authority cancel with the name Kwajalein. This suggests that they are set to control the Kwaj Post Office sometime in the future.

Questions abound- What degree of control does the USPS have over the MIPA…the mixed use of both names on cancels implies that the USPS has some control in MIPS land and the military authorities are comfortable enough with the MIPS to allow them to run the Kwaj Post Office. What other reason could there be. Maybe all of this is just speculation.

It is up to the reader to help get the answers here. My thanks to Eric Baxendale, editor of the US Pacific Islands Bulletin  for pointing out these facts.


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4 Responses to New Marshall Island Postmark- More Questions than Answers

  1. Eric Baxendale says:

    It is possible that rather than taking control of the U.S. Army Post Office on Kwajalaein the Marshall Islands Post Office are considering opening a Post Office to supplement the U.S. Army Post Offices. This could serve the Marshall Islanders working on the Base and also islanders living on islands in the Kwajalein lagoon. Marshall Islands civilians are forbidden to use the U.S. Army Post Office. This came to light in March 2010 when the Marshall Islands Journal reported that the Military Postal Services Agency had instructed the Army Post Office at Roi Namur Kwajalein to cease allowing the inhabitants of Santo (Third) Island to use the Army Post Office there for the despatch and receipt of mail. The islanders were told to use the Marshall Islands Post Office at Ebeye. The islanders representative complained that there were unable to easily reach Ebeye and were therefore deprived of postal services.
    On the matter of USPS on the cancellations this must mean some USPS involvement in the Marshall Islands Postal Service – I guess there must be some sort of agreement with the Pacific Area Manager of the USPS in Honolulu.

  2. Robert Patrick says:

    I have heard that the Kwajalein USPS post office has been torn down. Do not know what replaced it.

    • I was wondering if this was to happen. In theory then, the Kwajalein MIPS post office should then be up and running, which means they got around to renovating some building for this purpose. This will make the locals very happy, but what about US mail? Anyone know?

      • The Marshall Island Post Office in Kwajalein , I have just been informed is still not open. They are still looking for space. So, I dont know what to make of this observation!

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