Friday, 10 February 2012

USS Augusta

USS Augusta was an American Navy heavy cruiser that was part of the Asiatic fleet which was based in the Far East in the early part of the 1930s. She visited Sandakan between the 14th and 16th December 1934 on her way from the Dutch East Indies to the Philippine Islands. 
A year later, the boat visited Singapore and on her way to Philippines, touched at Pontianak and Jesselton in Borneo. She was at Jesselton between the 3rd and the 5th of November 1935.
The card above which is a philatelic item was franked by the ship's own marking with a clear date and the name of the port between 3 killer bars. There are similar items from the ports she visited including Shanghai, Vladivostok and of course, Sandakan.

USS Augustus was also famous for her occasional use as a presidential flagship by Roosevelt and Truman during World War 2. In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had their face-to-face meetings on board during the 11th and 12th of August while she was moored at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland. The ship was originally launched in 1930 and scrapped in 1960.

A companion cover but items like this which were made locally in the United States are quite common. A similar Borneo cover is worth about 20 times more.

A more valuable companion cover made at Shanghai with a nice depiction of the historic vessel. Over the years, Augusta visited many ports in China including Tsingtao, Canton, Amoy and Hong Kong. The above cover was made at a time of increasing China-Japan hostilities. They were moored off the Shanghai Bund as observers when they were accidentally or incompetently bombed by the Chinese air force.

USS Pigeon visiting Brunei. This was initially a minesweeper in the United States Asiatic fleet but later changed its function to that of a submarine rescue ship. She was sunk in action in May 1942 off the Philippine Islands.  
Note the wrong spelling of Bruni.

Update 26-08-2014
Added another 2 covers of this genre.

                                                                 Jesselton Borneo

                                                              Pontianak Borneo

No comments:

Post a Comment