Paraguay : 100th Anniversary of Sir Rowland Hill death


Issue date: 24/08/1979


Souvenir sheet reproducing two stamps from France (overprinted with the ICAO logo):

1.    On the left-side, the dull-rose stamp issued on 7 September 1927 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Marcelin Berthelot, and surcharged on 23 August 1928 with "10Fr" and bars;

2.    On the right-side, the blue stamp issued in August 1926 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Louis Pasteur, and surcharged on 23 August 1928 with "10Fr" and bars.

Île-de-France liner; Lioré et Olivier LeO H-198 flying-boat; Sir Rowland Hill ‘s picture. Control number.





Miniature sheet. MUESTRA (Specimen) is overprinted diagonally.

Miniature sheet mounted on album sheet with explanatory notes in German. Note that on the 8th line of text, ICAO’s acronym is wrongly spelled: OACO, instead of OACI for Organización de Aviación Civil Internacional.


First Day Cover.


Background: In addition to marking the fifty-first anniversary of the first catapult mail (this issue had most likely intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event), this miniature sheet commemorates the 100th anniversary of Rowland Hill’s death (1795-1879). It also displays the emblem of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), with the intention of commemorating its 35th anniversary, bearing in mind that the year 1979 corresponds to the 35th anniversary of the signing of the Chicago Convention. The anniversary dates of ICAO have always created difficulties in interpretation and have shown inconsistencies in their celebration; in fact, the latter Organization celebrated its 30th and 35th anniversaries in April 1977 and in April 1982 respectively.


The two French stamps are reproduced here-after. The Berthelot stamp also exists with inverted overprint. There is some incoherence in the design of the letter U. The common letter U was used in PASTEUR, whereas the Roman Vs were used in the word REPUBLIQUE.




Original Picture featuring the launching of the Lioré et Olivier LeO H-198 flying-boat. It shows a more realistic position of the aircraft than the one on the miniature sheet.



Reproduction error: According to a painting (see here-below) of the French Painter Joseph de Joux, Official Illustrator of the French Air Force, the three funnels of the liner Île-de-France were not black, but red and black. A philatelic article highlighting this error was published in L’Écho de la Timbrologie, Mai 2003, No 1763, page 163 and is reproduced here-after.



More background information about this issue can be found by clicking on: Philatelic Laxity: Monochrome Funnels. Additional background information was discovered after this article was published in The Canadian Connection.


Even though the Île-de-France was not the fastest vessel in the world, it briefly pioneered the quickest mail system between Europe and the United States. To improve the delivery of mail between Europe and America and accelerate its delivery, the authorities of the Transatlantic General Company found the solution in setting up a link assured by a mixed means of transport boat and plane. The Île-de-France liner (with Commander Joseph Blancard) left Le Havre on 8 August 1928, carrying a Lioré et Olivier H-198 seaplane to be catapulted later. At 450 miles from the US coast on 13 August 1928, the seaplane, piloted by Lieutenant Louis Demougeot and registered F-AIQP, was launched by a catapult from the steamship at 14:00 hours and landed in New York at 17:12 before joining the docks for inspection. This first postal liaison was a success and allowed the mail to be delivered 24 hours ahead of a conventional routing. The seaplane carried mail in three bags, franked with a surtax of 10 Fr.

One month after the inaugural airmail flight to New York, the plane of the Île-de-France was catapulted on the return leg in the morning of 13 September 1928 and was expected to arrive at Cherbourg in the afternoon. Lieutenant Demougeot, pilot of the mail plane and Co-Pilot Montrouseau were not found; the many researches were unsuccessful, reinforcing the concern of all. On 14 September, it was with relief that one learned the towing of the aircraft, broken at 28 miles southwest of Bishop Rock. The aircraft and its crew were safe, after 10 hours at sea waiting to be rescued; the crew was forced to land due to a magneto failure, but could not take off because of an agitated sea.

The Lioré et Olivier H-190 was a flying boat airliner produced in France in the late 1920s. Developed as a passenger transport, versions of the H-190 were also built as catapult-ready mail planes intended to be launched from transatlantic liners, and as coastal patrol aircraft.


1928 France to the United States "Île-de-France" catapult cover; special flight cachet on front and back: PREMIÈRE LIAISON POSTALE AÉRIENNE / TRANSATLANTIQUE / PAR HYDRAVION LANCÉ PAR CATAPULTE / DE L' < ILE-DE-FRANCE > / PILOTE: LIEUTENANT DE VAISSEAU L. DEMONGEOT.



Cover sent from New York to Le Havre on the return leg of the Île-de-France on 23 August 1928.

It shows the two overprinted stamps and is autographed by Lieutenant Demougeot.


First Day of Issue octagonal datestamp on flown registered catapult cover to Le Havre, France


First Day of Issue octagonal datestamp on flown registered catapult cover sent by Joseph Blancard, Commander of the Île-de-France liner, from New York to Martel, France,