Tag Archives: ships

Canadian Corvettes

Originally published May 2, 2017.

On July 1st, 1942, the Canadian government issued a series of stamps to celebrate Canada and Canadianscontributions to the war effort.

The 20¢ value was titled Corvette Ready for Launching and was designed by Herman Schwartz and engraved by Clifford Dawson and Walter Rosch. The Canadian Bank Note Company printed 62,028,166 copies of the stamp. It was perforated 12 on all sides. The design is based on a photograph of HMCS La Malbaie

Pictured on the stamp is a corvette ready to be launched. This design was relevant as many of Canada’s smaller ship yards constructed “Flower” class corvettes during the war. In total the Royal Canadian Navy ordered 104 corvettes from Canadian shipyards. Canadian shipyards also built the corvettes for the Royal and US navies.

Canadian Postal Archives Database – Record on Corvette Ready for Launching
Canadian Postal Archives Database
Wikipedia – Flower-class corvette

The Ships of the Russian Weapons of Victory Series

Originally published October 10, 2016.

Four ship stamps were issued in 2013 by the Russian Postal Authority to commemorate weapons that helped contribute to the “Russian” victory in WWII.

The first stamp in the set depicts the minesweeper, Mina.
The Mina was built as a fast coastal minesweeper for the Soviet Russian Navy at Sevastopol.   Completed in the same year construction started she was launched on August 20, 1937.
Mina‘s particulars are:
Displacement 410 tons standard, 503 ton full load. Dim. 62.0 x 7.2 x 2.26m (draught); Powered by two 42-BMRN-6 diesel engines producing 2,000 hp; twin shafts; speed 18.5 knots.
Armament 1 – 100mm gun B-24; 1 – 45mm gun 21-K; 3 – 12.7mm MG (Machine Guns); 2 DCR (Depth Charge Racks) (20); 31 mines and sweeps.  The Mina was designed to have a Crew 44
She was delivered to the Russian Navy on August 28, 1938, and served in the Black Sea.  Through the four years of WWII, she sailed 47 000 miles through mine infested waters and was responsible for escorting numerous ships.  Through her service, during the war, she had come under air attack no less than 300 times.  In July 1944 the Mina was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
The next stamp features the patrol boat Metel. This ship was constructed in sections that were shipped via train and sent to the Soviet Far East and assembled at the  Dalzavod Shipyard in Vladivostok.
Metel‘s particlars are:
Displacement 450 tons standard, 530 ton full load, dim. 71.5 x 7.4 x 2.6m. (draught); Powered by Curtiss geared steam turbines, 6,290 hp, speed 24 knots, economical 14 knots; Range by a speed of 14 knots, 1,200 mile.
Armament 2 – 102mm; 3 – 37mm guns; and 3 – 12.7mm MG.; 3 – 450mm torpedo tubes; 2 – mortars; carried 48 mines and 30 depth charges. Fitted out with mine sweeping equipment.  She had a crew compliment of 108.
Throughout WWII the Metel escorted ships through minefields.  During the battle of Chongjin, in Northern Korea  the ship and crew distinguished themselves through expert fire support shooting down enemy aircraft, destroying an armoured train, taking out enemy coastal batteries and searchlight installations, destroying eight concreted fortifications and gun positions, and causing serious damage to an enemy landing craft.
64 of the Metel‘s crew were awarded with orders and medals.  Her Captain was conferred with the title “Hero of the Soviet Union”.
The river armoured craft BKA-75 is the next stamp in the set.  She was built at Zelenodolsk and completed in December 1941.
The particulars of the BKA-75 are:
Displacement: 49.75 standard tons, 52.16 tons full load, dim. 25.3 x 4.04 x 0.87m (draught); Powered by engines of 1,800 hp, maximum speed 37.4 km/h, economical speed 23 km/h; Range up to 680 km.
Armament 2 – 76.2mm guns; 2 – 12.7 and 2 – 7.62mm MG. The BKA-75 had a crew 17.
Through out WWII BKA-75 served along side Russian army units and participated in the defence of Stalingrad and worked on the Volga river until September 1943 when she was loaded on a rail car and transported to the Azov Sea.  After suffering serious damage and repairs she joined the Danube Flotilla where she took part in the liberation of: Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria.  She also particpated in the liberation of Belgrade.
The last stamp in this set displays the gunboat Usyskin.  Orinally built as a paddle steamer tug for service on rivers, she was converted to a gun boat in July 1941.
The Usyskin‘s particulars are:
Displacement 400 tons, dim. 56.4 x 17.1 x 1.2m;
One 480 hp steam engine , speed 8.5 knots.
Armament: 2 – 45mm guns; 1 – 7.62mm MG.
The Usyskin participated in the defence of Stalingrad as a unit in the Volga River Flotilla.  In February of 1943, she received the Order of the Red Banner.
In April of 1943, the Usyskin was severely damaged as a result of a mine.  In July 1943, she was converted back to a tug.

The Battle of the Saintes

Originally published August 15, 2016.

In 1975 the postal authority of the island of Barbuda issued a set of four stamps commemorating the Battle of the Saintes. The stamps were issued on the 30th of May, 1975 and are perforated 13.5 x 14.

This was an important naval battle that was fought between the British under Admiral Sir George Rodney and the French under the Comte de Grasse between April 9th, 1782 and April 12th, 1782, during the Anglo-French War. The Battle was fought off the Island of Dominica and was named after the group of islands between Guadeloupe and Dominica which were collectively known as the “Saintes“.

This battle was important to the British forces as the fleet was responsible for the blockade of Yorktown and was responsible in part for the British surrender.  With the British surrender at Yorktown, the next phase of the French/Spanish plan was to invade Jamaica.

On April 7, 1782, the French left Martinique to rendezvous with 12 Spanish ships of the line and to embark 15,000 troops.  On hearing this Admiral Rodney left in pursuit of the French fleet the next day.

April 9th saw the British fleet catch the French fleet and the two sides sailed in line for the next few days while repairing damage to their respective ships.

At 7:40 am on the 12th, the British began to engage the French fleet and the two sides engaged each other in broadsides.  Due to shifting winds, the British ships broke the line and delivered a devastating attack on the French fleet.  Eventually with the French fleet in disarray, the Ville de Paris, struck her colours and the Comte de Grasse surrendered to the British.

Ships of the Line.

The strength of the British fleet was 36 ships of the line, the French fleet consisted of 33 ships of the line.

H.M.S. Ramillies.

At the conclusion of the battle, the total casualties for the British were 243 dead and 816 wounded with no loss of ships.  In contrast, the French suffered 3,000 dead or wounded. 5,000 captured, 4 ships of the line captured and 1 destroyed.

Bonhomme Richard firing broadside.

As a result of the loss, the French/Spanish plan to invade Jamaica was ruined and the British dominance of the seas was again re-established.

The French ship of the line L’Orient burning.


Celebrating Cape Verde’s Merchant Fleet

Originally published September 7, 2015.

On November 30, 1980, the island nation of Cape Verde issued 5 ship themed stamps.  The stamps were printed using lithography and were perforated 12.5 x 12.

Inscribed “Flota Mercante” the stamps were issued to commemorate the Merchant Fleet serving the islands.


Arca Verde
On the 3 Escudo stamp, the Arca Verde is pictured.   She was built in Norway and completed in 1955 as the Herlaug II.  Powered by 1, 8 cylinder BMV diesel engine producing 400 bhp and capable of carrying 150 passengers.

Ilha do Maio
The 7.50 Escudo stamp features the freighter Ilha do Maio. Completed in 1972 she was Originally built as the JOFF for Norwegian owners.  She was sold to the Companhia Nacional de Navegacao ’Acra Verde’ in 1979 and renamed the Ilha do Maio.
Ilha de Komo
Up next we have the 7.50 Escudo stamp with the cargo-container ship Ilha de Komo.  She was originally built as the Lindinger Hyacinth for the Danish company Reederei Lindinger and was launched in 1973.  Used for worldwide tramping she was sold to the government of Cape Verde in 1978.
Boa Vista
The Boa Vista is on the 9 Escudo stamp. Built as a coaster and completed in 1973 she was originally the Jojet. Bought by Companhia Nacional de Navegacao “ARCA VERDE” in 1978 from the Lys Line, she was renamed and entered service in Cape Verde merchant fleet.
Santo Antao
Built as an open shelter decker cargo ship the Santo Antao is featured on the 12 Escudo stamp.  Purchased by the government of Cape Verde in 1977 from Reederei Lindinger she was renamed the Santo Antao from the Lindinger Diamond. She was designed for use in world wide tramping.
The 30 Escudo stamp features the Santiago.  Constructed in Denmark as the Mercandian Pacific for Mercandia Scandia and completed in 1977 she was sold to the government of Cape Verde in 1979.  She was designed as a container ship.
Ship details courtesy of shipstamps.co.uk

The MS Sirdhana

Originally published November 29, 2014.

The 60h stamp issued by the Emirate of Dubai to commemorate 60 years of postal service depicts the motor ship Sirdhana.

The Sirdhana was built in 1947 by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson for the British India Steam Navigation Company. Displacing 8,608 gross tons she had a length overall of 425′ with a breadth of 62.7′.

The Sirdhana‘s 2 oil powered engines gave her a speed of 14½ knots

Motor Ship Selandia

On June 14, 1962, Denmark issued a stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Motor Ship Selandia. The Selandia is often referred to as the worlds first diesel-powered ship.

Constructed by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen the Selandia was ordered by the East Asiatic Company. She was launched on November 4, 1911, and completed during February 1912.

The Selandia was 370′ long with a beam (width) of 53′. Weighing in at 6,800 tons DWT (dead weight). Her 2 M.A.N., 8 cylinder four-cycle diesel engines provide 1,250 hp each providing the Selandia 12 knots of speed.

Constructed to serve in both cargo and passenger service the Selandia had 20 luxurious first class cabins along with many single berth cabins with a washroom for every two cabins. All cabins were described as very ample or of exceptional size.

She sailed between Scandinavia, Genoa and Bangkok and was eventually sold to Panama in 1936. Where she was renamed Norseman and then as the Tornator in 1940.

In January 1942 she ran aground off the coast of Omaisaka, Japan and became a total loss. The Selandia was a ship that changed the future of shipping and marine technology.


HMS Barbados

Originally published April 4, 2013.

The Barbados issued the 35 cent HMS Barbados stamp on August 16th, 1994 as one of a set of fourteen ships stamps issued.

Originally ordered as a patrol gunboat by the US Navy as the USS Halsted, she was reclassified as a patrol frigate of the Tacoma class and laid down in May 1943 at the Walsh-Kaiser Company of Providence, Rhode Island. The ship was renamed HMS Barbados once it was intended to be transferred to the Royal Navy as a Colony class frigate. Launched on the 27th of August, 1943 she was officially transferred to the Royal Navy under a lend-lease agreement in December 1943.

The Barbados displacement was 1,190 tonnes with a length overall of 303 feet 11 inches. She had a beam of 37 feet 6 inches wide and a draft of 13 feet 8 inches (how deep She sat in the water). Her three boilers powered her 2, 5500 shp turbines and shafts to a speed of 20 knots.

She was armed with Three 3″/50 calibre dual purpose gun mounts, two twin 40mm gun mounts, nine 20mm guns, one Hedgehog depth charge projector, eight Y-gun depth charge projectors and two depth charge racks. The Barbados had a complement of 190 sailors and officers.

During her service with the Royal Navy, the Barbados had two commanding officers: Lieutenant Commander Erik George Donald, RNVR and Lieutenant Arthur Horace Kent, DSC, RD, RNR.

In April 1946 the Barbados was returned to the US Navy and in 1947 she was sold for scrapping.


HMAS Australia

Originally published March 3, 2014.

An Indefatigable class battle cruiser, HMAS Australia, was commissioned June 21, 1913, and became the flagship of the Australian Navy.

Laid down on the 26th of June 1910 at John Brown and Company HMAS Australia was launched on October 25th 1911. Displacing a maximum 22, 130 long tons, She was 590 feet long with a beam of 80 feet. Her steam turbines produced 55, 000 shp and could propel Australia at a top speed just under 27 knots. She could travel 6,690 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. She carried a complement of 820 men

Australia was armed with 8 – 12-inch guns mounted in twin turrets (4 sets), 16 – 4-inch guns and 2 torpedo tubes located below the waterline. In 1915 and 1917 she was fitted with anti-aircraft guns. She was also used in the role of naval aviation, carrying two aircraft. There was 4 to 6 inches of armour around her Hull and between 4 to 10 inches on her conning tower.



HMAS Australia served in home waters and toured many Australian ports in her first year of service to ‘advertise’ the new Australian Navy to the widest possible audience. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Australia was to protect home waters but was given the freedom to search and engage any German warships. She pursued the Graf Spee and her crew were not happy that they did not get to engage any German battleships.

For the majority of the war, the Australia operated in the North Sea and served with the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron. This squadron was tasked with protecting the British Isles from German naval activity. The only time she fired her guns at the enemy while serving with this squadron was at a suspected enemy submarine on the 30th of December 1917.

At the end of the First World War, HMAS Australia was tasked with meeting, escorting and serving as guardship to the German fleet. On April 22, 1919 the Australia sailed for home waters and arrived at Fremantle on the 28th of May 1919. In 1920 she was used as a gunnery and torpedo training ship. In 1921 she was placed in reserve and as a result of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, she was scuttled.

The Titanic – Canada’s Commemoratives

Originally published April 7, 2012.

Issued on April 5th. 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic are among some of the best stamp designs Canada Post has used in years.

Sheet of 16 Domestic Rate Stamps

The sheet of 16 features 4 designs, 2 of the bow and 2 of the stern.  They demonstrate the sheer size of the Titanic.  These stamps are traditional lick and stick and are denominated P and will always (until further notice) be used to cover the domestic first-class letter rate.

A souvenir sheet was also issued.

Souvenir Sheet of $1.80 International Rate Stamp    

The souvenir sheet features a side view of the Titanic along with the position where she sits across the top of the sheet.

Along with sheet of 16 and Souvenir sheet, Canada Post Issued stamps in self-adhesive booklets as well.

Titanic Booklets      

The Domestic Rate booklets only feature the bow designs along with a picture of a deck chair recovered from the wreckage, at the top of the booklet.  The International rate booklet stamps feature the exact same design as the souvenir sheet.

Stamp Technical Details:
Perforated 13 and die cut 13.
Designed by: Dennis Page & Oliver Hill
Illustrated by: Mike Little based on Anatomy of the Titanic by Tom McCluskie and Titanic: The Ship Magnificent by Bruce Beveridge. Bow and propellors of the Olympic from the National Museums of Northern Ireland.
Perforated 13 and die cut 13.
Printed by lithography on Tullis Russell paper.  The Permanent stamps have general tagging on 3 sides.  The international rate stamp has general tagging on 4 sides.

Russian Fishing Ships

Originally published March 16, 2012.

Issued on February 28, 1967, was a set of 5 stamps depicting various ships from the Soviet fishing fleet along with various type of sea life.  All are denominated 6 rubles and are perforated 12 x 11½.  The stamps were printed by lithography.

This is one of my favourite sets of stamps.  I like the image of the various fishing vessels with a depiction of the fish that they fish for.

The top stamp depicts a trawler/factory ship.  On these ships, the catch is processed on board.  The second stamp depicts a refrigeration ship.  Where the catch would be stored but processed to the extent that a factory ship is capable.  The third stamp in the set shows us a crab canning ship.  This type of ship is similar to the factory ship but is specific to processing and canning a crab catch.  The fourth ship is a trawler.  On these ships, the catch is preserved but processed at either a factory onshore or transferred to a factory ship.  The last stamp in the set depicts a Black Sea seiner.  A seiner is a ship that uses a seine (a net with weights on one end floats an the other).

As of 2002, the Russian fishing fleet was composed of 2,500 fishing vessels, 366 transport and 46 factory ships with a length overall greater than 24 metres (78′ 9″).  As of 2005, there were an additional 2,491 fishing vessels smaller than this.  The fleet is quite old and not equipped to modern standards in terms of fishing and safety.

Scott 2009 Catalogue