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7th Fleet Mail

Serial: (23L-45)

25 February 1945


Subject: Mail - Directory service and miscellaneous rules for handling of.
Reference: (a) VCNO ltr Op-20-M2, serial 531020 SO 271017 dated 27 Jan 1943 to All Ships and Stations.
(b) VCNO ltr Op-20-M2-ifserial 2445720 dated 22 July 43, to All Ships and Stations, and Bureaus and Offices of the Navy Department.
(c) BuPers Manual, Article D-5310.
(d) ComServPac ltr serial 9719 dated 19 August 1944, to All Ships and Stations, Pacific Ocean Area.
(g) Postal Affairs Bulletin 10-44.
(h) Pacific Fleet Letter 4L-45 dated 1 January 1945, par 6(d).

1. Reference (a) prescribes proper endorsements for personal mail being forwarded to a new address and declares that it is imperative that personnel record offices supply their Navy post office with complete information covering all changes in personnel, such information to be supplied promptly and within twenty-four hours after changes occur. Reference (b) states that numerous complaints are received daily in the Navy Department concerning delays in delivery of mail, which delays are attributable either to incomplete directory service at Navy post offices, or to the fact that personnel are delayed in transit between stations while their mail is usually forwarded more quickly by V or air mail, or both.

2. Recent inspections of naval post offices, both ashore and afloat, in the Southwest Pacific Area revealed a great lack of uniformity in rendering of directory service and failure to abide by current directives on the subject. These inspections and examination of mail passing through fleet post offices which has been given directory service by mail orderlies, particularly aboard small craft, indicate the need for a graphic exposition of various types of endorsements on mail given directory service, so that there can be no excuse for continued lack of uniformity in the handling of such mail. Commanding officers are requested to insure that every Navy mail clerk and mail orderly is furnished a copy of this letter and that there is compliance with the instructions for handling of directory service and other important postal rules set forth below.


Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
"F" Division 1-5-45
c/o FPO San Francisco

#1 Endorsement when there is no record of addressee ever having been on board and thorough search through copies of orders and draft lists does not show him ordered aboard. Before endorsing, hold 15 days against the possibility that he, or a draft list containing his name may be received. The 15 day period may be extended if it is believed that the addressee is en route to the SoWes PacArea.

Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
"F" Division 1-5-45 J.SS
c/o FPO San Francisco

#2 Endorsement when the man is not aboard and directory cards and ship's records show he has been aboard but fail to show his new address. If directory cards and personnel officers records are properly kept, there should be none of this type mail. If there endorse and dispose of it at once, and bring the deficiency to attention of the personnel officer.

Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
"F" Division New.Const.
c/o FPO San Francisco 1-5-45

#3. Endorsement when man has been returned to the west coast of US for New Construction: Endorse and forward immediately to Fleet Records Office, San Francisco.

Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
"F" Division hosp 1-5-45
c/o FPO San Francisco

#4. Endorsement when man has been returned to west coast of US for hospitalization or medical discharge: Endorse and forward immediately to FRO San Francisco.

Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
USS TEXAS Service Schools
"F" Division NavTraSta,
c/o FPO San Francisco Sampson

#5. Endorsement when new address is known: Write it on letter, initial, show date of forwarding, and forward immediately. Do not send to any fleet records office or directory.

Mrs C. D. Johnson
565 Market St.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Charles Paul Johnson S1c
USS TEXAS 1-5-45
"F" Division JSS
c/o FPO San Francisco

#6 Personal mail for casualties and deserters: Draw a line thru each line of the address. Do not show type of casualty such as "killed", "Missing in action": or "deserted" on the envelop; simply initial and show date of forwarding.


Endorsement #1: Write at top of a slip of paper (facing slip) the address:

"7th Fleet Directory Section"

(Use "7thAmphib Directory", "ComAir Directory" or "MTBRons Directory", as appropriate, if the forwarding unit is under one of these commands.) At bottom of facing slip show forwarding unit and the date of forwarding or postmark, and initial.

Endorsement #2 Treat exactly as for #1.

Endorsement #3 Prepare facing slip as in (1) but address it to "Fleet Records Office San Francisco, Calif." (instead of to 7th Fleet Directory Section).

Endorsement #4 Treat exactly as for #3.

Endorsement #5 If new address is known, initial, date, and forward to the new address direct. NOTE: if a man is merely ordered transferred to the "nearest Receiving Station on the west coast of U.S.": handle just like #3 and #4 above, simply changing endorsement to read: "Nearest U.S. Rec. Sta."

Endorsement #6: Promptly write the type of casualty, or "deserted" on a facing slip and the words "FPO, directory Service, Washington, D.C." also initial and show date of forwarding or postmark on the facing slip; then enclosure all in an additional cover addressed to "Fleet Post Office, Directory Service, Washington, D.C." (Return OFFICIAL MAIL for casualties to sender, under additional cover, after endorsing each piece "Unclaimed", initial and dating, but comply with ref. (h))

Parcel Post: Endorse and treat as described above for letters.


  1. Draw only a neat single line through old address.

  2. In all cases write the endorsement small but legibly enough for others to read right next to the address you have lined out, do not spread.

  3. In all cases initial and date even though the man's new address is given.

  4. Never paste strips of paper or gummed tape over a former address. Mark (over) and place new address on back of envelope in the few cases where there is not sufficient space on face of letter.

5. DIRECTORY CARDS. Navy mail clerks and mail orderlies are required to maintain a directory file of 3" × 5" cards - one card for each officer and man attached to their units, showing all the information illustrated below. A card must be maintained for each person for one year after he is transferred or detached.

DATE REPORTED 21Dec 44 FROM RecSta Treas

(New Address)

These cards must bear information that is absolutely current. Personnel officers should furnish reports of all changes to the Navy Mail Clerk or mail orderlies with in 24 hours or when occurring, and must furnish FULL first, middle and last names and service numbers in addition to the details of changes.

6. PERIODICALS MAILED BY PUBLISHER. When a newspaper or periodical constituting second-class matter and mailed by the publisher is undeliverable at address for any reason, with exception hereinafter noted, NOTIFY PUBLISHER promptly on Form 3578 checking the appropriate square thereon, indicating key number, if shown in address, and writing the old and if known, the new address completely and clearly. Then forward the mail if new address is known. If not known, dispose of the publication as waste, or AFTER removing the address label, turn it over to the nearest naval hospital or sick bay. Carefully file the duplicate Form 3578.

However, IF THE MAIL BEARS PLEDGE OF SENDER TO PAY RETURN POSTAGE AND THE NEW ADRESS IS KNOWN, then DO NOT send Form 3578, but endorse article to show reason for non-delivery and return to publisher charged with postage due at the rate of 1 cent for each 2 ounces or fraction thereof, with a minimum of 2 cents each.

Copies of all second-class publications mailed by publisher, receive after five weeks from date of mailing Form 3578, or the return of the first copy prescribed in the preceding paragraph, but in no instance until two successive issues have been published, shall be returned to the publisher under label Form 3578 charged with postage due at the third-class rate (1½ for each ounce or fraction thereof), the label to be pasted on outside of the publication or wrapper in such manner as not to cover or obscure the original address or subscription number. A line shall be lightly drawn through the original address. There shall be entered on Form 3579, in the place provided therefore, the amount of postage due at the third class rate and the date Form 3578 was sent to the publisher.

There above provisions make it unnecessary as well as improper to send publications of the second class mailed by publishers to Fleet Records Office for additional directory service. It is especially desired that these directions be fully complied with in order to eliminate a large volume of unwanted newspaper and periodicals which are being deposited into the mail system by careless and unheeding agencies. In this manner improvement can be brought about in delivery time of mail that is desired by the addressees.

Supplies of Forms 3578 and 3579 are limited in the area at this time but may be requisitioned from Navy Postal Supply, SEVENTH Fleet, and requisitions will be filled at the earliest date possible. The most used of the two forms, 3578 and the manner in which it is filled out are illustrated below:

CARD FORM 3578 (Supplied 50 cards, in duplicate, to a pad)

Form 3578-P
Post Office at USS NEW MEXICO

Your publication, addressed as fol-
lows, is undeliverable at the address
thereon for reason checked below:


(39 U.S.C 277, See 808, P.L. &R.)

John Henry Doakes, S1c, USNR
Division "F", USS New Mexico
c/o FPO San Francisco
Key Number PN44-16580

Removed, left no address.
no such number
Not found unclaimed

c/o FPO San Francisco



To the publisher of - -


7. Commanding officers are requested to arrange for a weekly examination by an officer of the directory system maintained by each Navy post office and mail orderly to insure that: (a) all mail to be forwarded is endorsed and disposed of as explained above; (b) that directory cards bear complete information as illustrated which is current within 24 hours; (c) that no mail is being held without good reason; (d) that the directory work is current; (e) that each piece of ordinary first class, including air, mail is dated or postmarked on the back to show when it was received by the mail clerk or orderly if it is to be held more than 24 hours before delivery to addressee. Inspection officers should also determine whether the Navy mail clerk or mail orderly is complying with the miscellaneous but extremely important postal requirements listed below: (Where a Navy post office is conducted, this inspection should be in conjunction with that provided for by reference (c) Art. B-5308(2)).


    1. Mail clerks and orderlies shall maintain a permanent record of every registered or insured article which they obtain for delivery, having in this record the following information:

      1. Number of the article.
      2. Place of original mailing.
      3. Date the article was received by the mail clerk or orderly.
      4. Date the article is delivered.
      5. The delivering clerk's or orderly's initials.
      6. Signature of addressee or date forwarded and address to which forwarded.
    2. Mail clerks and mail orderlies shall be provided a means of protecting registered and insured mail pending delivery. A secure place is required likewise for ordinary mail.

      All mail must be delivered personally to addressees only, by the Navy mail clerk or his bonded assistant, or by mail orderlies authorized by name in writing, unless this is impossible, and shall not be left on tables, bunks or in pigeon holes for persons to help themselves to it.

    3. Mail bags and locks shall be returned to the nearest fleet post office immediately when they are no longer required, and shall be exercised that the bags are inspected to insure that there is no mail left inside the bag.

    4. Unauthorized persons shall be denied access to the inside of a post office and places where mail is being worked or stored, regardless of rank or rate.


    1. From overseas points parcel post zone rates to U.S. are based on San Francisco being in the first zone, and distances are computed from that point.

    2. Special precautions shall be taken to protect mail keys and full report must be submitted at once to postmaster, New York, with copy to Chief of Naval Operations (Op-20-M) when one is lost.

    3. Navy mail clerks transacting money order business shall maintain a register of money orders, issued, recording number of each money order, date issued, amount for which drawn, the post office upon which it is drawn and the name of the person to whom it is payable; in lieu of this record duplicate applications must be required and retained. All money order funds shall be remitted daily in form of disbursing officer's check when they amount to $50.00 or more. (Under no circumstances should the Navy mail clerk retain more than 49.99 in his possession after the close of P.O. business daily, and this is not to be construed to permit the retention of that amount if more than that is on hand.)

    4. Frequent checks shall be made of registry dispatch bills to see that the stubs are returned in due time, and report shall be made when a receiving office does not comply with request for return of a signed stub. Receiving officers shall return the manifold stubs or counterparts promptly.

9. The following is quoted form reference (3) which is based on revised statutes:

"Whoever, being a postmaster or other person employed in any department of the Postal Service, shall unlawfully detain, delay, or open any letter, postal card, package, bag or mail entrusted to him... or shall secrete, embezzle, or destroy any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail; or shall steal, abstract, or remove from any such letter, package, bag or mail, any article or thing contained there, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

Rear Admiral, US Navy

Flag Secretary.




Published: Thu Jan 31 18:20:07 EST 2019