Airmails in and from British Borneo 1926-39

Exhibitor: Dr. Jon Higgins
(Mid Anglia Philatelic Federation of Philatelic Societies)
Class: AerophilatelyAward:Gold

Pre-War British Borneo included the protectorates of Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak. As there were no air fields until 1939 all flights within and from British Borneo prior to this were by float plane or sea plane. The first internal air mails were carried during the Air Survey flights of 1926 and the Government Air Service of 1929 both within Sarawak. In 1930 the newly formed RAF 205 squadron based at Singapore toured British Borneo carrying small quantities of  mail.

The squadron in conjunction with the Royal Navy undertook regular air sea survey flights many of which carried small quantities of mail, representative covers shown include mail that on reaching Singapore was transferred to commercial airlines for delivery to the U.K., seldom seen. In February 1936 the squadron commenced a ‘goodwill’ flight to Japan covers addressed from Kuching to Japan and intermediate stops are shown. By 1939 an air strip was opened at Kuching which was used for a trial flight by Wearnes Airways of Singapore, a small quantity of mail was carried in both directions.


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