The route to Africa

20 07 2008

Liberia, Scott C43, 1942, 39mm x 24mm

Once again we have a stamp issue commemorating the air supply route from North America via South America to western Africa in the middle of World War II. Only three countries are depicted (the United States, Brazil, and the issuing country of Liberia). An outsized 4-engine transport plane (possibly a C-108 Flying Fortress) is shown alongside the coast-hugging path southward.

I am not sure that the business of transport is considered to have enough charisma to show up much on stamps nowadays, relatives to the most popular topicals.



Understated cooperation

4 03 2008

brazil-1402Brazil, Scott 632, 1945, 37mm x 29mm
Here is another World War II commemorative masquerading as something celebrating international trade or something like that.

If one looks very closely at the destinations highlighted on this – Miami, Port [au] Prince, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Georgetown, Belém, Fortaleza, Natal [Rio Grande do Norte], Ascencion, Accra, Khartoum, and Cairo – tiny little aircraft symbols oriented west to east can be seen. This represents the route of a major troop transport mission between the U. S. and the various war fronts:

[T]he huge Parnamirim field at Natal became the focal point in the Allied air transport system that ran west then north through Belém and the Guianas, across the Caribbean to Miami, and east over the Atlantic via Ascension Island and across Africa to the China-Burma-India theater.

Who knew? And who looking at this staid issue with its modest title and no especial emphasis on the battle front would have made the connection even back then?