Australia Post celebrates the centenary of military aviation and submarines

Australia Post celebrates the centenary of military aviation and submarines
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Australia Post is marking two significant Australian military centenaries with a new stamp issue commemorating the first flight by an Australian military aircraft and the commissioning of Australia's first submarines.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Mr Michael Zsolt said Australia Post is proud to commemorate two significant military centenaries.

"This Australian military inspired stamp release featuring aircraft and submarine vessels is a unique collectable range," Mr Zsolt said.

On 1 March 1914 the first flight of a military airplane took place when Lieutenant Eric Harrison flew Bristol Military Biplane CFS-3 at the Army flying field, Point Cook, Victoria. Australia subsequently became the only British dominion to establish a flying corps, the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) for service during World War I.

Australia's first submarines, British-built E-class vessels known as HMAS AE1 and HMAS AE2, were commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in February 1914 and arrived in Sydney on 24 May. During World War I both submarines took part in the occupation of Rabaul in German New Guinea. On 14 September 1914 Submarine AE1disappeared off the coast of Cape Gazelle, New Britain, tragically with all hands on board and is yet to be found.

Submarine AE2 subsequently supported British-led operations off the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey and on 25 April 1915 was the first British submarine to penetrate the Dardanelles, a narrow strait in north-western Turkey. On 30 April Submarine AE2was damaged by a Turkish gunboat in the Sea of Marmara, and scuttled by her crew, all of whom were captured. The wreck was found in 1998 and there have been plans to refloat and preserve the submarine.

The Centenary of Military Aviation and Submarines domestic base rate (70c) stamps are illustrated by Sydney-based illustrators Jamie and Leanne Tufrey.

The stamp issue's associated products include a miniature sheet, first day cover, sheetlet pack, stamp pack, maxicard set of two, booklet of 20 x 70c self-adhesive stamps and a postal and numismatic cover.

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