Burma Airmail to the United States 1937-1942. Mike Ley-Lincoln Stamp Club. Imperial Airways Only Airline Serving Burma. Imperial Airway Routes 1937. Air to England, Surface to the United States. Imperial Airways to London, Steamer Southampton to New York, Train to Chicago.
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Burma Airmail to the United States 1937-1942
Mike Ley-Lincoln Stamp Club
Imperial Airways to London, Steamer Southampton to New York, Train to Chicago
3 ½ annas UPU postage 1st oz. + 6 annas air fee per ½ oz. = 9 ½ annas
9 ½ annas = approximately 14 cents
The rate to England was 7 ½ annas inclusive for the first ½ oz.
Marked short paid T 29c. Air Mail endorsement not barred out.
Imperial Airways to Paris, Steamer from Cherbourg to New York
A very seldom requested routing.
2 annas UPU + 2 annas air fee via Imperial Airways to London
For an extra 4 annas airmail service was available in the United States
3 ½ annas UPU 1st oz. + 6 annas air fee to England per ½ oz. + 4 annas US air fee = 13 ½ annas
3 ½ annas UPU 1st oz. + 18 annas air fee ½ oz. = 21 ½ annas
or 1 rupee 5 ½ annas (1 rupee = 16 annas)
From about 14 cents pre war to now about 31 cents
3 ½ annas UPU 1st oz. + 18 annas air fee to London + 4 annas US air fee
25 ½ annas or 1 rupee 9 ½ annas
All Air Route to the United StatesImperial Airways to Pairs, Air France to Lisbon, Pan American Airways to New York. Became Available February 8, 1940.
3 ½ annas UPU 1st oz. + 2 rupees 6 annas air fee per ½ oz. = 2 rupees 9 ½ annas
(about 59 cents)
Service ended in June 1940 with the fall of France.
3 ½ annas UPU 1st oz. + 1 rupee 4 ½ annas air fee per ½ oz.
The air fee was now 2 ½ annas higher than the former air fee to London.
8 annas inclusive rate. A 3 annas stamp had fallen off prior to the air label being marked out.
“We have a new mail route to the U.S.A.-airmail as far as Durban in S. Africa, thence by land and sea.”
In 1937 Pan American Airways established weekly flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong via Honolulu, Wake, Midway, Guam, and Manila.
All Air Trans Pacific Service to the United States Via BangkokOn April 1, 1940 British aviation was reorganized and Imperial Airways became BOAC.
BOAC Rangoon to Hong Kong via Bangkok and Hanoi connecting
with the weekly Pan American Airways service to San Francisco.
4 rupees 5 ¾ annas inclusive per ½ oz. = $1
This paid for air service in the United States as well.
For 4 rupees 1 ¾ annas air was only provided as far as San Francisco.
This 4 annas savings was about a 6 cent savings!
The air label should have been defaced at San Francisco.
On September 23 the following all air service to England became available: BOAC to Hong Kong; PAA to San Francisco, New York, and Lisbon; BOAC to London.
The rate was 3 rupees 14 annas combined per ½ oz = 89 cents
The left cover shows the service to England.
The cover at right attempts to pay the cheaper rate to England for service to Ohio.
It would seem to make sense since the mail to England
passed through the U.S. anyway but it was marked postage due.
This shuttle was discontinued in October 1940 due to Japanese diplomatic
pressure to curtail fly-overs of French colonies in Indochina.
On October 31, 1939 a new weekly service to China had been
introduced from Rangoon to Lashio to a number of points in China by
Chinese National Aviation Corp-CNAC. The rate was 1 rupee 2 ½ annas per ½ oz.
This was used mostly for mail to central and western China.
CNAC did fly to Hong Kong and did not fly over Indochina.
In October 1940 a new service was introduced: CNAC to Hong Kong connecting with the weekly Pan American Airways service to San Francisco.
The rate was 5 rupees 13 annas per ½ oz. inclusive = $1.33
5 rupees 13 annas X 6 plus 3 annas registration = 35 rupees 1 anna = $8.04
Rangoon Oct 5, 1940. Backstamped: Honolulu October 25, 1940; Philadelphia October 28, 1940; Bridesburg, PA October 29. Flown on the “China” clipper which departed Hong Kong October 16 and arrived San Francisco October 27.
Rangoon November 25, 1940; backstamped: Kunming December 2, 1940.
In November 1940 the rate to China via CNAC was lowered to 13 annas per ½ oz.
Probably as a result of the lower rate on CNAC to Hong Kong the Trans Pacific rate to the United States was lowered to 4 rupees 5 annas per ½ oz. = 99 cents.
For 4 rupees 1 anna air service was only provided to San Francisco.
4 rupees 5 annas per ½ oz. X 5 = 21 rupees 9 annas
Trans Pacific Flights to the United States Originating in SingaporeBeginning in May 1941 the weekly PAA service to San Francisco alternated between Singapore and Hong Kong. A shuttle flew between Hong Kong and Manila to catch those flights origination in Singapore.
Churchill Road (Rangoon)-June 30, 1941. Backstamped: Honolulu-July 16, 1941; San Francisco-July 18, 1941; Jersey City-July 19, 1941.
Flown on the clipper “Honolulu” originating in Singapore July 7, 1941.
Rangoon-July 21, 1941
2 oz. letter. 4 rupees 5 annas per ½ oz. X 4 = 17 rupees 4 annas
Rangoon-August 2, 1941. Backstamped: Embassy of the United States of America Chungking-August 6, 1941
On July 22, 1941 the trans Pacific rate to the United States became an air fee of 3 rupees 8 ¾ annas per ½ oz. plus UPU postage 3 ½ annas for the first oz.
UPU postage was 3 ½ oz. annas for the first oz. and 2 annas each additional oz.
The total for a ½ oz. letter was 3 rupees 12 ¼ annas = 82 cents
Postage 1st oz.=3 ½ annas
2 annas postage each additional oz. X 2=4 annas
Air fee 56 ¾ annas per ½ oz. X 5=280 ¾ annas
Total 288 ¼ annas=18 rupees 3 ¼ annas
Postage 1st oz.=3 ½ annas
2 annas postage each additional oz. X 3=6 annas
Air fee 56 ¾ annas per ½ oz. X 7=397 ¼ annas
Total 406 ¾ annas=25 rupees 6 ¾ annas
6 annas postcard rate
Air mail label barred out at Hong Kong
Back stamped: Victoria, Hong Kong
1 rupee 1 ½ annas per ½ oz. = 25 cents
Trans Pacific Flights Originating in Singapore ExclusivelyBeginning Oct 16, 1941 the weekly PAA service to San Franciscooriginated in Singapore exclusively. BOAC Rangoon to Singapore.
Rangoon-October 21, 1941
Experimental PO R-21 (Burma FPO No. 8)-November 22, 1941
Backstamps: San Francisco-December 6, 1941, Chicago-December 8, 1941
Missing the Last Trans Pacific FlightThe “Philippine” clipper left San Francisco for Singapore on December 3 and would have been the next plane for mail not making the November 30 flight from Singapore
Lashio-December 1, 1941. Resealing tape applied at San Francisco (Examiner 1539). San Francisco censor station opened December 13, 1941. How did this travel?
Rangoon-December 6, 1941.
Resealing tape applied at San Francisco (Examiner 1618).
Rangoon-December 8, 1941
The “Philippine” had just left Wake Island for Manila when the attack began.
It returned to Wake and arrived back in San Francisco on December 11.
Experimental P.O. R-21-December 9, 1941.
Optimistically endorsed and franked for Trans Pacific service.
Backstamps: San Francisco-February 5, 1942 and Washington, DC-February 8, 1942, thus showing this cover still traveled east across the Pacific.
December 11, 1941 Japan invades Burma from the south.
December 25, 1941 Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese.
February 6, 1942 BOAC suspends service to Rangoon.
February 15, 1942 Singapore falls to Japan.
February 20, 1942 Burma Base P.O. leaves Rangoon.
March 1, 1942 Burma Base P.O. reopens at Maymyo.
March 7, 1942 The Japanese occupy Rangoon.
April1942 Most post offices not functioning. Service to India from Lashio via CNAC.
April 26, 1942 Lashio is occupied by the Japanese.
May 1942 Nearly all Burma is occupied.