Postal facility to be renamed for Sablan


The U.S. Postal Service will dedicate the building housing its Saipan Post Office in Chalan Kanoa in honor of the first native Saipan postmaster and CNMI’s fallen service members at 9am on Thursday, April 20. The public is invited to attend this special event.

The event will be hosted by Saipan Postmaster Harry Wilcox and feature remarks by Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, VFW commander Michael O’Kelley, Jeannette D. Sablan, and USPS director of Asia-Pacific Relations Leo Tudela. The program will culminate in the unveiling of a plaque that designates the Saipan Post Office facility as the “Segundo T. Sablan and CNMI Fallen Military Heroes Post Office Building.”

Delegate Sablan introduced legislation to dedicate the building in honor of Segundo Sablan and CNMI Fallen Military Heroes in July 2016; it was signed into law (PL 114-305) by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16, 2016.

“This event recognizes Mr. Sablan, the first Chamorro and native of Saipan to be appointed a U.S. Postmaster,” the congressman said. “It also honors the servicemen and women from the Northern Mariana Islands, who lost their lives while serving our great country.”

Saipan’s first postmaster

Segundo Tudela Sablan was born on May 27, 1919 on Saipan. Shortly after the United States’ victory over the Japanese in the Battle for Saipan during World War II, Tun Segundo was among a small group of Chamorros and Carolinians selected by the U.S. military to serve as Marine Scouts for the 6th Provisional Police Military Battalion. His knowledge of the terrain and fluency in the Japanese language made him ideally suited for the task of searching the island’s caves and jungles for Japanese holdouts responsible for sniper and grenade attacks on American soldiers. In 1951, Tun Segundo was appointed the first U.S. postmaster for Saipan by the U.S. Navy, which at the time had administrative responsibility for the Northern Marianas under the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement. A dedicated postmaster, he twice used his own home for postal operations after typhoons destroyed the post office building, and often neglected his farm and livestock to ensure families received their mail. A back injury sustained during the war eventually made it impossible for him to carry out the physical tasks required for the job. He resigned as postmaster in 1961.

CNMI fallen heroes

The post office name also serves as a tribute to sons and daughters of the Northern Marianas who have lost their lives in military service. Twenty young men and women have died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I hope that knowing their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten brings a measure of comfort to their families and friends,” Delegate Sablan said. (PR)

Press Release
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