Japtan Island


5 Cents in Trade, (1952)

5 Cents in Trade, (1952) front
5 Cents in Trade, (1952) back

Enlarge: Front5 Cents in Trade, (1952) front
 & Back5 Cents in Trade, (1952) back


10 Cents in Trade, (1952)

10 Cents in Trade, (1952) front
10 Cents in Trade, (1952) back

Enlarge: Front10 Cents in Trade, (1952) front
 & Back10 Cents in Trade, (1952) back

Japtan is a small island near the Eniwetok Atoll which was used for atomic tests from 1947 to 1962. Since most of the sailors were at sea during the tests, and there were no Rest and Recuperation (R & R) towns in the vicinity, Japtan Island filled that void. There was a bar, a swimming beach, and a shipwreck on Japtan Island.

The Japtan Island banknotes were printed aboard the USS Estes AGC-12 during the period of atomic bomb testing on the Eniwetok Atoll in 1952. Capt. Jack S. Holtwick, Jr., whose signature appears on the notes, was the Commanding Officer, 1952-1953, Five denominations were printed; 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $1 in Trade. These notes, originally considered to be novelty notes, were actually being used for commerce on Japtan Island. The natives accepted them in exchange for locally available products.

All five denominations have the same basic degign except a color change between the values. There is a palm tree with coconuts on the front which has been stylized to look like an atomic bomb explosion along with atom symbols on both sides. There is a picture of two nuclear particles bombarding the core of the explosive device on the back.

Courtesy impcbuyer (5 Cents); anonymous (10 Cents)


USS Estes AGC-12

USS Estes AGC12

Enlarge: USS Estes AGC12USS Estes AGC12

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Japtan Island is one of a group of islands and atolls that forms the Marshall Islands, situated in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia. After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986. The U. S. dollar is used on the islands. For a more detailed country profile, see CIA World Factbook on Marshall Islands.




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