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; FBA 17 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.


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. The hydroplane FBA 17, piloted by Lieutenant L. Demougeot, was catapulted on 13 August at 14:00; after 3 hours and 12 minutes, it landed in New York. The Île-de-France 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 its crew 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.