P.G. Taylor's 1951 South Pacific Flight

Between 14 March and 20 April 1951 Captain P.G. Taylor, together with Harry Purvis and crew flew PB2B-2 Catalina VH-ASA Frigate Bird II on an experimental flight between Australia and Chile, and return. This was the first ever air crossing of the South Pacific to South America.

The flight departed Sydney and intermediate stops were made at Noumea, Fiji, Tonga, Aitutaki (Cook Is.), Tahiti, Mangareva and Easter Island (Isla de Pascua). The aircraft arrived at Valparaiso, Chile, on 27 March. The return flight departed Valparaiso on 6 April and arrived at Brisbane, Qld, on 20 April.

An official air mail was carried on the flight and the illusrated air mail cover was flown in both directions. The cover is stamped with 5/- 'coat of arms', cancelled at 'Sydney Air 12MR51'. The cover is backstamped 'Valparaiso Recep. Alta Mar 26MAR51' and backstamped again on arrival 'Sydney 21AP51'. An official commemorative violet cachet was impressed on the front of the cover.

Click here to read more about this flight


(Phil Vabre collection)


Read Fifty Years Ago - 1951

Back to the main Items of General Interest index

If this page appears without menu bars at top and left, click here