USS Canisteo (AO-99)

Eastern Group
Capt. Edward K. Walker, USN

Scarce misspelling "Opration" in rubber stamp


Read the story of young seaman John "Jack" Morris aboard the USS CANISTEO

27 NOV 46 Departed Norfolk, VA.
5 DEC 46 Arrived Cristobal, Canal Zone.
10 DEC 46 Departed Balboa, C.Z.
12 DEC 46 Crossed the Equator.
17 DEC 46 Proceeded toward Scott Island with the Central Group of ships.
30 DEC 46 Departed Scott Island to rendezvous with the Eastern Group of ships at Peter I Island.
1-2 FEB 47 Lying to in the Bellingshausen Sea.
7 FEB 47 Rendezvoused with USS Brownson at Longitude 70°S, Latitude 65° 30'W and received mail brought down by the USS Philippine Sea.
15 FEB 47 Heading north through Bransfield Strait en route to the Weddell Sea with USS Pine Island and USS Brownson.
3 MAR 47 Ceased attempt to penetrate the Weddell Sea and headed north.
18 MAR 47 Arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
24 MAR 47

Departed Rio de Janeiro for the United States.

25 MAR 47 Set an independent course for Ascension Island, after refueling the USS Pine Island and USS Brownson.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4


Generally speaking, the standard four-bar postmark will be found on mail from this ship during Operation Highjump (figure 1) but a very small amount of mail did receive the multi-purpose, double-circle, no-bar cancel. This is widely referred to as the "money order" cancel (figure 2). Two rubber handstamps from the ship have been seen (figures 3,4). The 'Rounded Cape Horn . . . ' notation is of particular interest because the ship rounded the Cape from the Antarctic side and headed back south. This is almost always found on the reverse of covers on which it is found.

A three-line rubber stamp reading, "NAVY ANTARCTIC / EXPEDITION / OPERATION HIGHJUMP" has been seen on some USS BURTON ISLAND and USS PHILIPPINE SEA covers. It is the author's belief that this cachet is of private origin and never used by Highjump personnel. However, my illustrated cover above contains the nearly identical rubber stamp, but with "Operation" spelled incorrectly.