Examples of Use

This project was initiated to find answers to a specific goal: identify the location of Army Post Offices during World War Two that were evident on a soldier’s correspondence.

For example, Private First Class John C. Waller, part of the 717th Railway Operators Battalion, wrote to his sweetheart Geraldine Rowbottom from APO 134 on October 27th, 1944. Using the database, one can enter the APO number and check the dates to see where the APO was located at that time.

A quick search shows that APO 134 was located at Llandaff, a suburb of Cardiff, Wales. Further research shows that Cardiff had significant rail yards and hospitals, which explains why Waller spent a significant amount of time there maintaining the hospital trains that transported wounded soldiers around the country.

Using this approach, one can track Waller’s correspondence throughout the war, identifying each location from which he sent mail and providing additional information to make sense of the contents of each letter.

This envelope from October 27th, 1944, shows APO 134 as the return address for John Waller.