The Republic of Cuba (12)
The First Marine Battalion Volunteers of New York landed
at Caimanera, Guantanamo Bay, on June 10, 1898, and were
the first American force to land on the island. Military
Station No. 3 was opened at Guantanamo on September 6,
1898, and was closed when American troops were withdrawn
from Cuba in May 1902.
Authorization for the United States to lease lands necessary
for coaling or naval stations is found under Article 7
of the “Platt Amendment,” accepted by the
Cuban constitutional convention on June 12, 1901. However,
nothing was done by the United States to acquire Guantanamo
Bay for another two years.
Tome II, p.83: Guantanamo to Steelton,
On July 2, 1903, a treaty was signed by the United States
and Cuba, wherein the U.S. leased an area around Guantanamo
Bay as a naval facility. However, there was little or
no actual construction of the base until about 1906-1907.
On March 25, 1907, a post office named “Bagley”
was opened on the base. Bagley was named in honor of Ensign
Worth Bagley, a distinguished US naval officer who was
killed in action off Cuba. This office remained open until
February 27, 1909, although it is known to have unofficially
processed mail through April 24, 1909.
After Bagley was closed, mail was processed aboard one
of the US naval vessels in the bay, or at the nearby Cuban
towns of Caimanera or Boqueron. The vessel assigned to
process mail was designated a “US Receiving Ship,”
and mail was forwarded through the postmaster at New York.
Some time between July 1922 and January 1923, a naval
postal station was established on land at Guantanamo Bay.
This cover illustrates a relatively early use of the new
naval station postmark.