Post Office Starts Home Delivery at Patrick AFB

by Gene A. Baird

 

In 1953 you could mail two letters and two post cards for a dime. AlA through Cocoa

Beach was two lanes and lined on both sides with New Zealand pines. At the corner of

Cocoa Avenue (Minutemen Causeway) and A 1 A, Bernard’s Surf had been open since

October 1948 and on the first floor of the building next door was the Cocoa Beach Post

Office where Oliver Haistens was Postmaster and Sally Jakeway was clerk.

 

When I went to work at the Patrick Air Force Base Post Office, Jack Langley (later a

Cocoa carrier) had been contracted to haul mail to Cocoa Beach and Patrick A.F.B. Those

three or four of us who worked there would meet Jack early in the morning at Cocoa and

pile in his panel truck with the mail for the trip out to Cocoa Beach then on to the old

building at Patrick shown in background of picture below.

 

Fred McCabe delivered South Capehart (enlisted men’s quarters) and I delivered the north

end (officers’ quarters.) We were using bicycles for delivery at that time and since my

route only took two to three hours I would then deliver parcel post via truck to both north

and south areas. Later Herb Baker became regular carrier (C-6) for south area and

remained there until retiring. As I recall, north area was never made a full time route. A

note of interest was delivering mail to Dr. Kurt Debus who lived in very last house at the

north end of the base. Mrs. Debus would often be at the door and greet me with her heavy

German accent. Another bit of excitement during my twenty years at Patrick came with

the ’62 missile crisis with Cuba. The build-up of military in such a short time was unreal.

 

The Patrick Post Office moved twice while I was there. First time to an old remodeled

parachute loft left over from the Banana River Naval Air Station era just south of the main

cafeteria. Then late in 1971 moved to a brand new office next to the Base Exchange. The

new office was dedicated January 19, 1972 and remains in the same location. Management

of the Patrick P.O. Br. was transferred from Cocoa to Melbourne around 1993.

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