454-rhodesia-VP_WAS-plane

Hello,  this stamp bring back sad memories but none the less I am showing it because it is an aviation related stamp and history is history after all.  Issued in 1970, one of a set of 4 to commemorate the Inauguration of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.  It is hard to believe that when it was issued, showing the Viscount, named “Hunyani”, tail  VP-WAS,  the plane would have such a sad ending 8 years later.

Its last flight was Air Rhodesia flight 825 in September 1978, operating a scheduled passenger flight from Victoria Falls to the capital Salisbury. On the last leg from Kariba it suffered a hit on its starboard wing from a surface to air missile fired by the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).  The plane crash landed in a field. Of the 52 passengers and 4 crew, 38 died in the crash. It was reported that 10 more passengers were shot by the guerillas. 8 passengers survived by hiding in the bush.

ZIPRA leader Joshua Nkomo publicly claimed responsibility for shooting down the plane in an interview with the BBC’s Today programme the day following the shooting down of the plane, saying the aircraft had been used for military purposes. And for the history record, this was the first of two Air Rhodesia civilian Viscount aircraft his guerillas shot down, the second was in the following February.

There is history to our stamps, sometimes not so pleasant, but it is there none the less.

Michael  cddstamps.com