Censored and Military Postal History

World War II - Military Mail - RAF

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Royal Air Force - Sudan


RAF Station, Khartoum dated 29 October 1943 to England.

FPO 718 opened in Khartoum in June 1943.

Boxed R11 type censors took over from R10 in October 1942 and are last recorded from Sudan in November 1844.

This Air Mail Letter Card was fire damaged during its travels and was delivered with the enclosure label explaining the reason for damage.

The labels reads "It is rregretted that this letter has been accidentally damaged by fire whilst in transit in Army Postal Services M.E.F. Date 12 NOV 1943 (initialed) R.L.B. 4 Base A.P.O."

Air Mail Letter Cards were introduced for M.E.F., Middle East Forces, and carried for a rate of 3d.

Royal Air Force - Northern Ireland 


Military mail from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland to Clones, Irish Free State. 

R.A.F. in Northern Ireland used British civilian censor labels usually tied by RAF "PASSED BY CENSOR" Daynes type R20/1 RAF handstamp.

Irish cross-border censored mail of any type is fairly unusual.

Royal Air Force - Cyprus


The RAF Postal Service structure was on a Regional Postal Headquarters basis, allotted by number.

The establishment at Malta opened in November 1943, but until this item appeared, its number and handstamp were unknown.

The Registered Postal Stationery envelope is a well-travelled item as shown by the numerous handstamps on the reverse and lsited below.


FPO 164 12 Aug 44 Cyprus
BAPO 4 16 Aug 44 Egypt, Cairo
14 RAF Postal HQ 18 Aug 44 Malta
USAPO 399 24 Aug 44 Algeria, Maison Blanche
FPO 660 8 Sept 44 Corsica, Bastia
FPO 660 12 Sept 44 Corsica, Bastia
FPO 111 16 Sept 44 France, Marseille
USAPO 399 3 Oct 44 Algeria, Maison Blanche
USAPO 700 4 Oct 44 Algeria, Oran
USAPO 509 7 Oct 44 Corsica, Bastia
FPO 660 12 Oct 44 Corsica, Bastia
FPO 660 13 Oct 44 Corsica, Bastia
FPO 242 25 Oct 44 Italy (Naples?)
? 13.Nov 44 U.K. (?)


Royal Air Force - Sierra Leone


The return address is 'RAF Station Waterloo, West African Forces' (noted on the inside flap). RAF Waterloo was near Freetown, Sierra Leone, hense FPO 41.

Dispatched 6 January 1943 and with a Canadian arrival backstamp dated 22 January 1943.

Boxed purple RAF censor handstamp #188

The 5/1d air mail rate is hard to interpret: from Africa, 5/- prepais the rate to the UK via both South and North America (twice across the Atlantic); this cover is going going as far as Canada.

Royal Air Force - Seychelles

This air letter was despatched by a member of RAF Seychelles that existed in Seychelles between 1943 - 1946. They had weather, coding and flying boat servicing responsibities and flying boats from 209, 259 & 265 RAF squadrons had 'boats detached in Seychelles from time to time.

The censor mark is RAF type R.11, 596 which was replaced by type R.12 no 42 in the third quarter of1944.

There are less than 6 of this type of censor mark recorded with rather more of the R.12 but none are common.

Postage at 18 cents is correct for the air mail rate for an air mail letter card or an air letter that was introduced a little later.

Letter is dated April 2 1944 but the APO is not readable.

Updated: 3 July 2001
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