Qantas First Through Service Australia-England - 1947
QEA First Aust-UK Service

In 1947 Qantas Empire Airways' new Lockheed L749 Constellations were used to open the first all-Australian regular through service from Australia to England. Previously, QEA had operated the Australia-Singapore, then Australia-Karachi legs of the service, with Imperial Airways (later BOAC) operating the remaining sectors.

This QEA cover, addressed to QEA Chairman and Managing Director Hudson Fysh, was flown on the first Kangaroo Route service aboard Lockheed Constellation VH-EAD Charles Kingsford Smith. It is postmarked at GPO Sydney-Air Mail Section at 4pm on 1 December 1947 (the date of departure) on a 1'6 airmail stamp showing Hermes, the Greek God of Speed. The cover is signed by Captains K G Jackson (Sydney-Karachi legs) and D F McMaster (Karachi-London legs). It features a silver vignette commemorating the 25th anniversary of Qantas' first airmail service from Charleville to Cloncurry, Qld, and a red/black flight vignette. Stops were made at Darwin, Tengah, Calcutta, Karachi and Almaza.



Left: One of the mailbags used to carry the mail on this inaugural service.


(Cover:Phil Vabre collection / Mailbag:CAHS collection)


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