WILMINGTON -- The USS North Carolina made more history today -- not in the water, but on an envelope. The average lay-person would call it a rubber stamp. The Wilmington Philatelic Society, or the local stamp club, knows it as a cancellation. It bears the likeness of the USS North Carolina and the date of its commissioning, May 3. Wilmington Philatelic Society President Richard Porcelli said, "We look at this commissioning of this ship as a very important event, and we want to document it." Porcelli and Wendell Triplet are members of the Wilmington Philatelic Society. Between the two of them they've have collected stamps and cancellations for more than a century. There are only three of these cancellations in existence, all are in Wilmington. Local collectors worked closely with the post office to create the design. The group also created an envelope, or a cover, as the stamp club calls it, bearing a cache or seal, marking the day the Battleship North Carolina was commissioned. Collectors from as far away as Germany are vying for this cancellation, and they won't have to wait long. The first official cancellation was inked at the Myrtle Grove post office. This is just one more way the USS North Carolina 777 is making history. The stamp says "primus in proelio," which means first in fight. Regular mail will not receive this stamp. You have to request it at the Myrtle Grove post office. But you have a limited amount of time. Thirty days after the commissioning, the stamp can no longer be used.
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