Last Modified: March 24, 2004

Southern Rhodesia Military Airletters

by

Jerome V. V. Kasper


Early in World War II, providing fast and convenient communication to those on active duty from their families was high priority. To this end, in late 1941, the Southern Rhodesia Post Office announced:
     “It is notified for public information that a new service of Active Service Letter Cards will be introduced with effect from 17th         November 1941.
     These Letter Cards, impressed with a Threepenny postage stamp, will be sold at all Post Offices in Southern Rhodesia at the         face value of 3d. each in order to provide air conveyance to members of the Forces serving in East and West Africa and         Egypt and to Naval personnel serving in the Mediterranean.
     Letter Cards addressed to civilians will be forwarded by surface mail.”

This exhibit shows mint and used copies of all Southern Rhodesia Military Air Letter Cards. Five different “Active Service Letter Cards” and one “Air Letter” form were printed from 1941 to 1945. As stated above, they were initially valid only to certain areas. As the war progressed, the areas of validity were extended and air conveyance was provided to servicemen in these areas. Usage by servicemen to civilians required payment of an additional 3d. After the war, the forms were not demonetized, but were valid for any civilian use with payment of proper postage.

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