USS Chaumont (AP-5)
Letters and Life On Board

Life on Board the USS Chaumont

These are pictures from Bill Mozingo. The first series of these are scans of stamped envelopes, either at ports of call or when on board crossing the International Date Line. They allow a partial reconstruction of ports of call 1934-1940. See the page with National Archives records for details of the ports of call July 1937 through June 1941.

All these images are thumbnails, click on any image to see a larger version.

July 1934
A stamped envelope commemorating a presidential visit to Hawaii, 26 July 1934.
December 1935
A stamped envelope cancelled at sea on Christmas, 1936.
March 1936
A stamped envelope posted from Honolulu 11 March 1936.
March 1936
A stamped envelope posted from Guam 26 March 1936.
April 1936
A stamped envelope posted from Shanghai 24 April 1936.
May 1936
Crossing the International Date Line eastbound 17 May 1936.
October 1936
A stamped envelope posted from Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, 8 October 1936.
November 1936
Crossing the International Date Line westbound at 20° 38' N, 23 November 1936.
June 1937
Stopping at Guam enroute Virginia — Cuba — Panama — California — Honolulu — Guam — Manila — China, 12 June 1937.
The ports of call are the same as those on the March 1940 envelope below.
September 1937
Crossing the International Date Line at 24° 49' N (direction unknown, but probably eastbound, it was in Japan six weeks later), 9 September 1937.
October 1937
Posted from the Chaumont in Yokohama, Japan, 27 October 1937.
July 1939

A letter and stamped envelopes Bill found someone selling on eBay, indicating that the Chaumont arrived in Honolulu 27/28 July 1939 having come from the US west coast.

Click on the images to see the entire envelopes and the letter itself. The letter, written by the son of a man traveling as "the second highest ranking office among the passengers" says, in part:

U.S.S. Chaumont
July 25, 1939
We are approaching Honolulu
[....] The trip across the continent was pleasant, although uneventful. We stayed for a while in Alabama, in Houston, in Bay City, in San Antonio, and in El Paso. [....]

July 1939
Another from Honolulu 28 July 1939.
July 1939
Another from Honolulu 28 July 1939.
March 1940
Leaving Portsmouth Virginia 5 Mar 1940 to these ports of call:
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • Cristobal, Canal Zone
  • Balboa, Canal Zone
  • San Diego, California
  • San Pedro, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Mare Island, California
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Guam
  • Manila, Philipines
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Chinwangtao, China
  • Chefoo, China
  • Tsingtao, China
  • Shanghai, China
  • Chinwangtao is now spelled Qinhuangdao. It's the chief port of Hebei province on the northern Yellow Sea. It was used primarily for exporting coal in the 1930s. 39°56'N 199°30'E
  • Chefoo was a misnomer used by the west, referring only to Zhifu Island. The port city itself is now known as Yantai. It's the largest fishing port in Shandong province, on the southern coast of the Bohai Sea. It's just south of Qinhuangdao. 37°24'N 121°16'E
  • Tsingtao is now spelled Qingdao. It's also in Shandong province and is a major seaport and naval base. 36°5'N 120°20'E
The Chaumont tied up.
The Chaumont tied up.
The Chaumont at anchor. The image file name indicates this is in Hawaii.
The Chaumont passing through the Panama Canal.
The Chaumont underway.
The Chaumont underway.
The Chaumont underway.
A book of matches
March 1943
A memorandum to the Chief Petty Officer on watch to allow a soldier to look around the ship, signed by W.F. Jones.
According to the description at, someone "boarded the USS Chaumont at Seattle and disbarked at Seward (Alaska)." This seems to have been in March 1943.

Further Pages

Back to the overview History of the ship Ports of Call — Records from the US National Archives listing ports of call July 1937 through June 1941 Photos from Photos from Photos from the Panama Canal and Shanghai