Postal History of the 1941 "France Libre" Definitives Series
Here are the more or less normal covers, some commercially used.
lastmod 3 November 1943

1941







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All 15 April 1941 covers are First Day Covers.

15 April 1941

First Day Cover - French 1941 5, 10, and 15c on a cover to Nouméa. The stamps are cancelled with PCH type 14. "Passed By Censor" handstamp on front and registration handstamp PCH type R8. (Merot coll.)

15 April 1941

Another First Day Cover - here with the Tax stamps. Not quite exactly the proposed use of tax stamps but who cared in 1941 Port Vila? The stamps are cancelled with PCH type 14 with a type 13 alongside. ("SeSi" coll.)

15 April 1941

A cover with the complete set including the Tax stamps as First Day Cover. The stamps are cancelled with PCH type 13 with a type 14 alongside. (Klinger coll.)

15 April 1941

A cover with the complete set including the Tax stamps as First Day Cover. The stamps are cancelled with PCH type 13 with a type 14 alongside. (image thanks to Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions May 2011)

15 April 1941
15 April 1941
15 April 1941
15 April 1941
29 April 1941

Service letter Condominium des Nouvelles Hébrides/Service des Postes/Condominium Post Office to Nouméa NC. The 10cor France Libre stamp tied by PCH type 12 with PCH type 11 aside.Backstamped Nouméa 5-5-41. The sender is L de Gaillande, Vila Postmaster (ordering dimmed "war lights" for his traction avant 11CV Familiale ?). ("SeSi" collection)

29 May 1941

Censored envelope to the U.S. The 5c, 10c & 15c France Libre stamps are cancelled with PCH type 11, an impression of PCH type 12 alongside. The Port Vila "Passed by censor ......" in violet on reverse. (seen in an old dealer's offer)

6 June 1941

French 1941 10c & 5c used on a cover to Noumea tied with Goyns Klinger type PM11B. Backstamped Noumea 12 June 1941. (ex Millet coll.)

14 June 1941

Censored letter to Australia, the 5cg, 10cg and 15cg stamps are cancelled with PCH type 11, registration handstamp is PCH type RB. New Hebrides censor tape at left tied by a "PASSED BY CENSOR S.74" handstamp. Backstamped GPO Sydney Air on 7 July 1941, GPO Sydney RS on 8 July 1941 and Parramatta 8 July 1941. (Ruecker coll.)

14 June 1941 reverse
29 April 1941
29 May 1941
6 June 1941
14 June 1941
14 July 1941

Registered cover to Australia with France Libre 5cg, 10cg x 2 and 15cg x2 cancelled with PCH type 38. Backstamped Port Vila 18 JUIL 41 and on arrival GPO SYDNEY RS 7 AU 41 P. Both English and French registrations are used. The English registration label is type R34 and the French type R31. ("JGI" collection)

14 July 1941

Registered cover to Australia with France Libre 5cg, 10cg and 15cg cancelled with Goyns Klinger type PM16. Backstamped Port Vila 18 JUIL 41 (PM14) and on arrival GPO SYDNEY RS 7 AU 41 P. Both English and French registrations are used. The English registration label is type R34 and the French type R31. (Millet collection) 14 July 1941

26 August 1941

Air Mail letter to New South Wales. A 10c stamp may be missing, two 5c, two 15c and a 10c France Libre stamps cancelled with PCH type 11. The cover is marked "By PANAIR", was dispatched to Nouméa by ship, most likely the Malaita. At Nouméa it was censored by French authorities and forwarded to Auckland on 9 November 1941, by Pan American Airways on FM-19. Dispatched from Auckland to Sydney via the weekly Trans-Tasman Air Service. At Sydney, the letter was opened, censored and resealed. Dispatched by the GPO to Manly, a town adjacent to Sydney. (ex Jersey coll.)

29 August 1941

Cover with the 5c, 10c and 15c France Libre stamps cancelled with GK type PM16, a GK type PM15 aside. Franked correctly (10 cg colonia letter rate & 20 cg reg fee). Registration cachet GK type NR18 & reg. label GK type NR17.
Gerald Bernard Gallagher died on 27 September 1941 aged only 29 - the cover came too late: below the stamps is written "Deceased / Returned". Image thanks to Caphila, Paris

14 July 1941
14 July 1941
26 August 1941
29 August 1941
29 August 1941

Cover with the 5c, 10c and 15c France Libre stamps cancelled with GK type PM16 & type PM15. Franked correctly (10 cg colonia letter rate & 20 cg reg fee). Registration cachet GK type NR18 & reg. label GK type NR17.
Gerald Bernard Gallagher died on 27 September 1941 aged only 29 - the cover came too late: below the stamps is written "Deceased / Returned". Backstamped Vila GK type PM7C on 31. August 1941, Sydney 20 SE 41, General Postoffice Ocean Island 14 OCT 41 and Vila again GK type PM11A. (ex Millet coll.)

29 August 1941 29 August 1941
29 August 1941

Cover with the 5c, 10c and 15c France Libre stamps cancelled with GK type PM16, a GK type PM15 aside. Franked correctly (10 cg colonia letter rate & 20 cg reg fee). Registration cachet GK type NR18 & reg. label GK type NR17.
Gerald Bernard Gallagher died on 27 September 1941 aged only 29 - the cover came too late: below the stamps is written "Deceased / Returned". Backstamped Vila GK type PM7C on 31. August 1941, Sydney 20 SE 41, General Postoffice Ocean Island 14 OCT 41 and Vila again GK type PM11A.

29 August 1941
9 September 1941

A letter similar to the Stolow / Bayer covers below but earlier, with the remark "From Condominium Postmaster - signature" (de Gaillande ? - sig looks different).(Seen in 2003 in a Compustamp (Gary duBro)offer).

6 October 1941

5c FRANCE LIBRE on a Martin cover to Santo, cancelled with PM13 (philatelic use in VILA post office).
Taxed 10c with a stamp cancelled with PM16, tax triangle.
Image thanks to Chris Rainey

29 August 1941
29 August 1941
9 September 1941
6 October 1941
10 October 1941

Cover with the 5c, 10c and 15c France Libre stamps cancelled with PCH type 38. The addressee is the nom de plume of Hambly. (See Correspondences - Hambly). (Goron coll.)

16 October 1941

Vila censored cover to the U.S., the two 10c stamps cancelled with GK type PM11B and PM 11A. The non-colonial letter rate was 30 cg so the cover was taxed 4 cents. (ex Millet coll.)

17 October 1941

Local gimmick with a lot of stamps on a local cover (seen on Delcampe in 2011

17 October 1941

Part of the reverse

22 October 1941

Vila censored Air Mail cover with th 1.95 Fg 1938 stamps and 40cg 1941 stamps cancelled with GK type PM11A. Backstamped Noumea on xx Nov., Honolulu 16 Nov., New York Reg'y Div. on 18 Nov and New York cental on 19 Nov 1941.
The Penny Black Stamp Co. belonged to Sam L. Bayer and later to his wife Madeline S. Bayer. I suppose that all the Bayer covers on the other 1941 page were originated by this Company six days later in Port Vila. This cover here may have been a commercially used cover to send stamps to the Company.
Seen on an internet auction site.

22 October 1941
10 October 1941
16 October 1941
17 October 1941
22 October 1941
23 October 1941

Cover with the 10c France Libre stamp to Sydney. I do not know if the remark about buttons only prevented the letter from being censored as I don't know what's on the reverse. Seen in an old b/w copy of auction items.

4 November 1941

Registered local cover from Santo to Marius Jocteur Président du Comité De Gaulle at Port-Vila. The two 15c.or France Libre and the British 10cg tied with PCH type 38. Registration cachet is type R31 and registration label type R14A (Vila with a manual amendment to Santo). No censor mark but backstamped Port-Vila 24 NOV 41 in arrival (10 days). Marius Jocteur, settler at Vaté since 1918 operated an area of 500ha at west-Mele. He was president of the Syndicat Agricole des NH for 17 years. In 1940 he took active part in the movement of France Libre. (Source: O'Reilly : Hébridais) ("SeSi" coll)

3 December 1941

Letter to Columbia, U.S.A. with the exceptional postage of 6Fg25cg: 5Fg, 1Fg and 25cg France Libre. Vila censor handstamp on reverse and (unusual for the New Hebrides) a sender address. Ashton Larney R.N.A. was chief surveyor in the Lands & Survey Department at Vila. Maybe the sender E. Larney was his wife. (Klinger coll.)

3 December 1941
13 January 1942

Cover with two 5c and a 10c France Libre and a British 1938 10c stamps. The stamps are cancelled with PCH type 12. "Passed By Censor" handstamp on reverse, New Hebrides censor tape at left, reopened in San Francisco and examined again by #1563. (Klinger coll.)

13 January 1942
23 October 1941
4 November 1941
3 December 1941
13 January 1942
23 February 1942

Cover from Lolowai ( a mission center in WW II) to Sydney. The 10c France Libre stamps is cancelled with PCH Type 11. Is is rather astonishable that this cover was not cendored. (Klinger coll.)

23 February 1942

The sender is given as Rev. H. Thompson. He was a missionary in New Guinea and I think during the Japanes occupation there he was in Lolowai, Aoba.

15 April 1942

New Hebrides Postal Service cover to Decatur, USA. The 5c and 10c "France Libre" stamps and the British 10cg tied with PCH types 10A and 11. New Hebrides censor stamp on reverse.
Cencored in Nouméa just after the arrival of the Amercan Division in March 1942. The cover may have been dispatched from Vila to Nouméa on the monthly Burns Philp vessel and then by Air Mail to USA. ("Mele" collection)

15 April 1942

Letter to Macedon, USA. The two 5c and two 10c "France Libre" stamps are tied with PCH types 10A and 11. No New Hebrides censor stamp.
Censored in the US and handstamped "Released by authority of the district postal censor" (Klinger collection)

18 April 1942

Incoming letter of unknown date from Australia to the Vila Postmaster "Ludovic de Gaillande du Service Postal, Condominium des Nouvelles Hebrides" underpaid with the Australian 1½d stamp. The received a T triangle handstamp and an illegible cancel PCH type 11 and then 2.10 Fg of Tax were affixed with stamps from the 1941 "France Libre" tax stamps and one French 1938 tax stamp. All are cancelled with PCH type 14.
This letter gives me the impression that it was "provoked" by Mr. Baldwin, a famous Australian New Hebrides collector. ("Mele" collection)

23 February 1942
15 April 1942
15 April 1942
18 April 1942
25 August 1942

Letter from Port Vila to New York. The pairs of 5c, 10c and 15c pay 10c more than the normal weight registered rate to USA. They are cancelled with PCH type 12, the registration handstamp is the "Villa" PCH type R8. Vila censor handstamp on reverse and Sydney censor mark on front. The cover is backstamped Sydney 22 September, San Francisco 22 October and two times New York on arrival at 27 October 1942.
On the reverse the cachet is applied which Hals / Collas describe on page 125: "The Condominium Postamster / Le Chef du Service Postal" as existing after 31 October 1943. This seems to be a very early usage of this cachet. (Klinger coll.)

12 September 1942

Inward mail franked with 20c US postage (12c on front, 8c on reverse), sufficient for the 5c international postage and the 15c registration fee. It was censored at San Francisco by #1520 and resealed; then dispatched on 11 July 1942 for Sydney, Australia, reaching Efate 12 September 1942. On the same day, it was re-registered at Port Vila and 60c New Hebrides "France Libre" postage was affixed (30c for the foreign rate and 30c for registry) to the item thus covering the US registry markings. It was returned to Sydney on the same vessel, which had brought the item, arriving there on 21 September. At Sydney it was passed by Censor #1067 and dispatched for San Francisco reaching there on 25 October; flown to New York, arriving 27 October. (ex Jersey coll.)

dd September 1942
6 October 1942

Registered letter to Oakland California USA. The 5c.or France Libre stamp tied by PCH type 11 and the 40c.gold stamp tied by PCH type 12. Registration handstamp is PCH type R8, New Hebridean circular censor cachet with Australian handstamp 2 PASSED BY CENSOR 1600 on front. Backstamped San Diego Reg.Seg NOV 30 1942 and Oakland DEC 1 1942 on arrival. ("SeSi" collection)

29 December 1942

"Local" letter to a member of Hq. & Hq. Sq. 11th Bomb Group in Efate, the 5 and 15c stamps cancelled with PCH type 11. (Klinger collection)

25 August 1942
12 September 1942
6 October 1942
29 December 1942
21 January 1943

Nice local use of the 5c "France Libre" from Vila to Vila. (Klinger coll.)

13 March 1943

Unusual cover from Espiritu Santo to Sydney. The 5c.or and 10c.or France Libre stamps tied by a double circle U.S. NAVY cachet type Jersey 18 but with a three bar killer postmark. On front a circular cachet PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR in violet . ("SeSi" coll)

13 March 1943
18 March 1943

Mixed 1941 and 1938 postage on a cover to the US. This cover must have been censored on the way to the New Hebrides (when it was enclosed in another cover to the postmaster) as the censor tapes are in the "wrong" sequence. (Mele coll.)

18 March 1943
30 August 1944

A full set cover addressed to the Frouin family in Port-Vila, signed by the postmaster Mr. de Gaillande. (seen at Ebay in 2012)

21 January 1943
13 March 1943
18 March 1943
30 August 1943
28 September 1943

Two months 6 days older than I am:
never postally used postal cover with a few NH stamps. The British cancelled with PCH type 12, the French with PCH type 11. (Klinger coll.)

1 October 1943

17 Fg (!!) on a cover to the U.S. - somebody sent an aircraft back to the states in this cover.
Image thanks to Victoria Stamp Comapany Ridgewood, NJ, U.S.A.

7 December 1943

Registered letter from California to Vila. The 23c US stamps are cancelled with an oval. The letter has a vinyl "Exmained by censor" tape affixed at left. I think the sender (his name says he may be of French origin) added in manuscript: twice "Free French Territory" and "Censor: See General License #53". Around the triangle tax stamp there are the New Hebrides "France Libre Chiffre Taxe" 5,10,20 and 40c stamps cancelled with two PCH type 13 and one PCH type 14.
Backstamped "San Francisco Reg. Sec. Feb 23, 43", "New York Mar 8, 43" and "San Francisco (Sta B?) Feb 23, 43". I do not know why the cover needed 9 month to Vila. (unknown coll.)

7 December 1943
29 September 1944

10 cg French "France Libre" issue intercolonial rate to Sydney. The cover was shipped from Ambrym [no postal service] with the company's trading schooner, the Shawa to Nouméa, backstamped 29/9/44 and there entered the mail for Sydney, where it was opened and examined. Covers from Ambrym Island are very scarce. (Ruecker coll.)

28 September 1943
1 October 1943
7 December 1943
29 September 1944
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