Monday, October 31, 2011

Commissioning of INS Shakti (A57)

Date of Issue: October 01, 2011

A Special Cover commemorating Commissioning of INS Shakti was issued by Andhra Pradesh Circle of India Post.

INS Shakti (A57) - a Deepak Class Replenishment Fleet Tanker built by Fincantieri, Italy, can carry 15,000 tonnes of different varieties of fuel for ships and aircraft and 500 tonnes of dry cargo, including ammunition and provisions for the fleet to take up multiple ship replenishment operations simultaneously. It also has workshop facilities to provide frontline support to fleet ships and can operate heavy helicopters.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors an electronic warfare suite, most of it being indigenous. It was designed to operate as a command platform, according to the Navy.

Commanding Officer of the ship Capt. Ravi Malhotra read out the ‘Commissioning Warrant' and the naval ensign was hoisted on board for the first time and breaking the commissioning pennant as the National Anthem was played, marked the formal commissioning of the ship.

Text Source: The Hindu - October 2, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Australia 1999 James Craig - Aerogramme

Date of Issue: March 19, 1999

Aerogramme issued by Australia with World Stamp Expo 99 Logo. Many thanks to my friend, Vera Radnell for mailing me this wonderful postal stationery.

The ship depicted is the James Craig, a three-masted iron-hulled barque built in 1874 in Sunderland, England, by Bartram, Haswell, & Co., she was originally named Clan Macleod. She was employed carrying cargo around the world, and rounded Cape Horn 23 times in 26 years. In 1900 she was acquired by Mr J J Craig, renamed James Craig in 1905, and began to operate between New Zealand and Australia until 1911. In 1932 she was sunk by fishermen who blasted a 3-metre hole in her stern.

Restoration of James Craig began in 1972, when volunteers from the 'Lady Hopetoun and Port Jackson Marine Steam Museum' (now the Sydney Heritage Fleet) refloated her and towed her to Hobart for initial repairs. Brought back to Sydney under tow in 1981, her hull was placed on a submersible pontoon to allow work on the hull restoration to proceed. Over a number of years the vessel was restored, repaired by both paid craftspeople and volunteers and relaunched in 1997. In 2001 restoration work was completed and she was able to set sail.

James Craig is currently berthed at Wharf 7 of Darling Harbor, near the Australian National Maritime Museum. She is open to the public, and takes passengers out sailing on Sydney Harbor and beyond. She is crewed and maintained by volunteers from the Sydney Heritage Fleet. The cost of maintaining her is approaching $1 million a year and the ship relies on generating income from visitors alongside, charters, events, and regular fortnightly day-sails with up to 80 passengers.

Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bluenose II postcard from Canada

My dear friend Laura sent me this postcard from Halifax. She knows Bluenose is my favorite, in any form, be it stamp, postcard, etc.,

The postcard says it all, so no description needed I guess.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birth Centenary: Vice Admiral R.D. Katari (1911 - 2011)

Date of Issue: October 08, 2011

A privately issued Special Cover by Naval Philatelic Society, India to commemorate birth centenary of Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari (1911 - 1983), the first Indian Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy.

He was born on October 08, 1911 at Chengalpattu, in Tamilnadu and so the postmark for the Special Cover was obtained at Chengalpattu, dated Oct 08, 2011.

He assumed charge as the Chief of the Naval Staff, on April 22, 1958. During his tenure as the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Indian Navy saw a consolidation of its acquisitions, planned future growth and enhanced its training and operational effectiveness.

The operational effectiveness was amply demonstrated in the liberation of Goa from the Portuguese in December 1961. India's first aircraft-carrier, INS Vikrant, was commissioned during his tenure. He retired as CNS in April 1962 and two years later he was appointed as India's Ambassador to Burma, where he served with distinction for over five years.

Click here to read his biography in detail at Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia

Special Cover: INS Hansa Golden Jubilee (1961 - 2011)

Date of Issue: September 05, 2011

The Goa and Maharashtra Circle of India Post issued a Special Cover to commemorate 50 golden years of service to the nation by INS Hansa - India's Premier Naval Air Station, now located near Dabolim, in Goa.

INS Hansa was commissioned on September 05, 1961 at Sulur, near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was initially co-located with the Sulur Air Force Base of the Indian Air Force. It was initially home to INAS 551 squadron, operating de Havilland Vampire aircraft, as well as training establishments for Hawker Sea Hawk and Breguet Alizé aircraft.

After the liberation of Goa from Portuguese occupation, Dabolim airfield was transferred to the Indian Navy. INS Hansa was then moved to Dabolim on June 18, 1964.

Over 2000 naval personnel and 1000 civilians are employed at INS Hansa. It is home to 8 Indian Naval Air Squadrons (INAS).
Among the units based here are:

INAS 300, operating BAe Sea Harrier fighter aircraft
INAS 303, operating Mikoyan MiG-29K fighters
INAS 310,operating Dornier Do 228 aircraft in electronic warfare roles
INAS 315, operating the Il-38 anti-submarine warfare aircraft
INAS 321, operating HAL Chetak helicopters for search and rescue
INAS 551, operating HAL HJT-16 Kiran jet trainers
INAS 552, operating Harrier T-60 trainers
The Crest of INS Hansa depicts Hamsa (from Sanskrit हंस haṃsa) is an aquatic bird, often considered to be a goose or sometimes a swan. The cachet design shows various air crafts of the Indian Navy.

Click here to read more interesting information about INS Hansa.

Text Source: Wikipedia
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