US Navy bookmatches

USS Antietam

Exhibitor : Gísli Jóhann Sigurðsson

My exhibits in previous years have all been related to Iceland. But now there is little left of that, so although I don’t actively collect bookmatches I have, over the years, acquired a few which catch my eye.

My favourites are those bookmatches showing US Navy ships, but it’s pretty hard to collect these especially when you’re not connected to anyone who collects them, and if I were, I don’t have anything to trade.

I’ve seen pictures of pages on the internet showing bookmatches and it seems to me that these are simply pages with some pockets that the covers are in. Personally, I find sites like that dead, they don’t say anything, so I decided to find my own way. I try to find pictures of the ship and some information about it to include in my collection.

My main source of information about these ships is NavSource Online: Battleships Photo Archive.


US Navy ships in Iceland during WWII

The first here cover is USS Wichita, which was working with the British in the North Atlantic in 1942 and came then to Hvalfjörður. During WWII the American and British navies had naval bases in this fjord, which is situated in the west of Iceland and is approximately 30 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide.

The USS Wasp came to Iceland at least twice in 1941, first in August with airplanes for the 33rd Wing of the United States Air Force,

The destroyer Duane spent a long time in the North Atlantic during WWII and often came to the base in Hvalfjörður.

But the first US Navy ship which came to Iceland during WWII was USS Niblack on 15th April 1941, and the entire US fleet arrived on 7th July 1941. Unfortunately I do not have a bookmatch for this ship.

Hvalfjörður today

Today Hvalfjörður is home to the only whaling station in Iceland, and many of the old WWII naval buildings are used by the company as staff facilities as well as two summer homes for the owners of the company.


Thule military base, Greenland

I have a single bookmatch from the Thule Air Base and it comes with two pages of text in both Icelandic and English. The Air Base is now known as Pituffik Space Base and is the United States Space Force’s northernmost base. It first became operational during WWII.


More US Navy bookmatches

Here are a few of my other US Navy bookmatches, which I am currently researching. Many different designs were used for these bookmatches, as you can see.


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