2018 sees the centenary of the founding of one of the world’s first and most famous Air Forces, the Royal Air Force.
Ascension Island has an important past, present and future connection with the RAF being as it is an essential part of the UK to Falkland Islands Air-bridge. Wideawake Airfield is a joint facility of the RAF and the US Air Force and was constructed within three months by the US 38th Combat Engineer Regiment during the Second World War. On 11th June 1942 the pilot of the Fairey Swordfish aircraft dispatched from H.M.S. Archer to drop a message to the Cable & Wireless Office in Georgetown, was surprised to see an almost finished air strip and decided to land his plane, thus becoming the first aircraft to land on Ascension Island. Although mainly used by the US Air Force during World War II, as a stopping point, the airfield was expected in the mid 1960’s to act as amongst other things, an emergency runway for the Space Shuttle, and in 1982 because of the increased air traffic during the Falkland Islands War, Wideawake was for a short period the busiest airfield in the world.
To mark this anniversary Ascension Island is releasing a series of 4 stamps depicting aircraft from each 25-year interval of RAF history.
Stamp Size: 28 x 42mm
Sheet Format: 10
Release Date: 02nd July 2018