Charler LaBlonde's Favorite

In this forum, each member is asked to show one of his or her favourite covers. The attraction need not be based on scarcity or value -- it most likely will turn matters purely personal.

Charler LaBlonde's Favorite

Postby dannmayo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:19 pm



The letter is dated 22 August 1942, sent from Portuguese India (Goa) to the Geneva Red Cross.

In the early months of World War II four Axis merchant ships (three German, 1 Italian), operating in the
Indian Ocean, sought safe refuge in the harbor of neutral Goa. Germany took some care of their stranded
crews but Italy ignored their seamen. Thus the Italians quickly turned to the Geneva Red Cross for help.
The letter is from the First Officer of the Italian Ship Anfora, Captain Guido Visintini. Surface postage to
Geneva was 2 1/2 tanga. All mail out of Goa was censored by India in Belgaum, Code DHG/1. Transit
time from Goa to Geneva was of the order of 130 days via Bombay - Cape Town - Lisbon - Paris.
The Nazis censored this mail in Paris, either full or pass censorship.

For the complete and fascinating story of this very scarce mail see the CCSG Bulletin, January 2017.
The story is also a movie called “The Seawolves” starring Gregory Peck & David Niven.
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Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:29 am

Re: Charler LaBlonde's Favorite

Postby townshendp » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:29 am

Hi Charler,
I've only just joined CCSG so had not seen your cover before.
I have a similar cover 'written in Italiano' to the Red-X in Geneva, censored India, passed thru by Paris (A.x.), but the sender is Luigi Dodici, address 'Fortez Aguada, Indie Portuguese'. It also bears a collector's pencil note 'CCSG 23/47'.
Does this have anything to do with the stranded seamen you mention?
Philip Townshend
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:24 pm

Re: Charler LaBlonde's Favorite

Postby clablonde » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:45 am

Hello Mister Townshend,

Thank you for your note on the CCSG Website. For several years now I have had an interest in the Goa WWII mail. A man in Portugal wrote a book about the Goa situation. In his list of Italian (Anfora) prisoners of war, Luigi Dodici is listed as number 20, He was a stoker on the ship.

If I could see your cover, front and reverse, I could tell you much about it. Is the date of your cover legible? I have found the Goa postmarks very difficult to read.

Just for interest there is a fairly good Hollywood movie about the Goa situation. You are welcome to borrow mine if you cannot find it.

If possible, please send me a scan (front and back) of your cover. The cover I show is from the Captain of the Anfora. It is my only example of Captain's mail.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Charles (
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:14 pm

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