Uruguay : Anniversaries and Events


Issue date: 18/06/1979




Cpt. Boiso Lanza (flight‑pioneer) and Blériot XI monoplane, Wright Brothers and Wright Flyer I (picture and upper profile); ICAO emblem.

With watermark:  inverted ROU (Republica Oriental del Uruguay) within a sun. The official country name Republica Oriental del Uruguay indicates that the Republic lies east of the River Uruguay.


Military aviation in Uruguay was born on 17 March 1913 when the Military Aviation Academy (Escuela de Aviación Militar) was formed at a small airport 50 km from Montevideo. The first aircraft were a Farman M.F.7 Longhorn biplane and a Blériot XI monoplane. As with many other Latin American countries, flight instruction was initially performed by a European (in this case French) instructor. Ten army officers formed the select group chosen to be the first Uruguayan military aviators. Among them were Cpt. Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza and Lt. Cesáreo L. Berisso. Boiso Lanza was the first fatality of the Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya or FAU, dying in a plane crash on 10 August 1918.




Block of four stamps from upper right corner of a page, with ICAO emblems. Control number in margin.

1978 was also the 65th anniversary of the Uruguayan air force (see selvage: 65º ANNIVERSARIO DE LA FUERZA AEREA URUGUAYA).

Only 12,500 blocks were produced.

Full sheet with control number.


Album page from a collection called Die geschichte der Luftfahrt which is in 2 Lindner albums. Sieger probably issued those albums. Text in German.


First Day Covers.





The following FDC (Size: 9¾ in. x 7 in.) shows the four stamps of this issue, with a postmark and a cachet/design for each of the four events:

1.     70c: International year of child and 450th anniversary of Albrecht Dürer’s death (Madonna and child painting);

2.    80c: World cup soccer (1930, Argentina-1978, and Spain-1982) and AUF (Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol) emblems; overprinted Estadio centenario monumento mundial de futbol Montevideo;

3.    1.30p: 100th Anniversary of Sir Rowland Hill’s death; 1980 Summer (Moscow) and winter (Lake Placid) Olympics, and 1896 Greek first international Olympics games issue (Stamp-on-stamp Greece issued on 25 March 1896; wrestlers; colour: ochre);

4.    1.80p: 75th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ flight.



Background: Within the Anniversaries and Events issue, this stamp commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the first powered flight and the 65th Anniversary of the Uruguayan air force. This airmail stamp is part of a series of four stamps (Year Events); it had limited distribution and was issued in sheets of 24 containing 6 blocks of 4 stamps with margins around.

On the selvage, the designer of those stamps included the ICAO emblem, preceded by 75o Aniversario de ICAO - OACI.

Uruguay inadvertently confused the 75th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ triumph, who made the first successful flight of a manned heavier-than-air vehicle on 17 December 1903, with ICAO which, even today, has not yet reached such a milestone. Furthermore, it should be noted that the date of issuance of this set by Uruguay did not correspond to an anniversary of the first flight (which should have been in 1978) nor to an anniversary celebrated by ICAO. This issue should have more rightly commemorated the 30th anniversary of ICAO (in April 1977), and not its 75th anniversary.


One of the cachets here-above reproduces Uruguay’s first Diligencia stamp and makes reference to the times when communication was carried on by means of mail coaches. The first stamps issued in Uruguay were ordered by the Administrator General of Posts, Atanasio Lapido, who also happened to be in charge of the stage coach service. They could be considered as a private issue, but must have had official status. The inscription "Diligencia" means "Stage coach" and indicates the means of transporting of the mail. They were only valid for mail within Uruguay. Picturing a radiant sun, the 60-centavos blue stamp shown here was used for single-page letters. The postal services organized by the stagecoach companies started issuing stamps on 1 October 1856.


The Coat of Arms of Uruguay was first adopted by law on 19 March 1829. It consists of an oval, which is divided into four equal sections and crowned by a rising golden sun, the Sun of May, symbolizing the rising of the Uruguayan nation. The oval is surrounded by two olive branches, representing peace, joined at the bottom by a blue ribbon.

In the upper left quarter, there is a scale, symbol of equality and justice, set on a blue background. The upper right quarter contains the Cerro de Montevideo (Montevideo Hill) with its fortress on the summit, which represents strength, on a silver background. In the lower left, also on a silver background, there is a galloping horse, symbolizing liberty. The lower right quarter holds an ox, which is a symbol of abundance, on a blue background.


The stamp of this issue was later reproduced on a commemorative cover, as displayed hereafter.


USA - 29-31 August 2003 - BALPEX 2003.

Annual exhibition and bourse of the BALPEX stamp show in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Black cachet produced by the Baltimore Philatelic Society in conjunction with the BALPEX 2003 stamp show, featuring reproductions of two Wright Brothers stamps: Uruguay stamp issued on 18/06/1979 (commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight and the 65th anniversary of the Uruguayan air force) and Paraguay Specimen stamp issued on 24/04/1979 (commemorating the 75th anniversary of civil aviation and the 35th anniversary of ICAO) and providing some informative text.