Mauritius postal history: a personal selection
First Flights "Raid Samat"
or "Roland Garros"
Post Offices &
Postmarks
Perfin & Meter
cancellations
Royal Visit
1901
Contact Links &
biography

1933 Raid Samat: the first flights between Réunion and Mauritius

Early aeronautical history

(From...Encyclopedia of African Airlines by Ben R. Guttery. page 123.)

The remoteness of the island of Mauritius has given it a unique aeronautical history. It was June 2, 1922, when the first aircraft was flown over Mauritius by Major F. W. Honnet. The plane was likely taken by ship to the island and flown from a field near Vacoas. On September 10, 1933, Maurice Samat and Paul Louis Lemerle made the first flight to Mauritius in a Potez 42 (F-AMGP "Monique"). The plane had flown to Réunion to a point near Mon Choisy, the site of a memorial marker today. On November 9, 1933, the two French aviators were joined by Jean Hily on a flight to Réunion. The three were to fly three aircraft--two Potez 43s and a Cauldron Renault--with mail to Réunion. Hily and Lemerle made the flight without any trouble, but Samat developed engine trouble and followed a day later, In December 1936 Laurent, Touge, and Lenier flew a Farman 199 ("Roland Garros") to Mauritius after completing a flight from France via Tunis, Cairo, Djibouti, and Tananarive. The flyers left Mauritius on January 20, 1937, returning to France on February 11. In 1942 the British built an airport at Plaisance near Mahebourg to aid the war effort. The airport is today known as Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport...



The Raid Samat fight

(From The Postal History and Stamps of Mauritius, by Peter Ibbotson (1991), pages 93 & 94)

The first aeroplane from abroad landed in Mauritius at Mon Choisy on 10th September 1933, using an airstrip converted from a former racecourse in the north of the island. The single-seater aeroplane, a Potez 43, F-AMGP (named Monique), was owned by Maurice Samet of the Roland Garros Flying Club of Réunion; he flew it himself and was accompanied by Paul Louis Lemerle. On 10th November, two single-seater aircraft, each with a bag of mail (1,084 pieces altogether), left Rivière des Pluies airfield in Réunion for Mauritius. Two and a half hours later they landed at Mon Choisy where the Assistant Postmaster General of Mauritius, Selman Ah-see, met them and took charge of the mailbags, whose contents received arrival handstamps at GrandBay, the nearest post office to Mon Choisy.


For the return on the 14th November--the first mail-carrying flight out of Mauritius--a fifth line was added "Voyage de retour". The return flight carried 1,032 pieces of mail for Réunion and 149 pieces for onward transmission by sea to Kenya (14 pieces) and Europe (135) items). The air mail postage was R1 per 10 grams, and many philatelic items bore obsolete Victorian stamps (for these were not invalidated until 1937).

From Réunion to Mauritius, 10th September 1933

 
 
 
 
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;
Letter inside the preceeding cover
  ;
  ;
  ;
  ;

From Mauritius to Réunion, 14th September 1933

 
 
 
Missing the special cachet, both sides