Postcards from the first Official Souvenir Australian Aerial Mail. Flown by Basil Watson in his home-built Sopwith-type biplane from Mt Gambier to Melbourne on 15 February 1917. These are obviously based in the Guillaux postcards.

 

An Australian Biplane. (Flight, FEBRUARY 8, 1917 p 139)

SOME particulars of a biplane built in Australia by Mr.Basil G. Watson, an old pupil of the Hall Flying School, are just to hand. The machine, which is on tractor scout lines, has a span of 26 ft. and is 18 ft. in length. Tasmanian bass and mountain ash are the timbers utilised in the construction, while the propeller is of Queensland walnut. The engine is a 50 h.p. Gnome. Mr. Watson made a flight of 45 mins. at Melbourne in November, and later gave some exhibition flights at Bendigo.

 

Watson was killed when his aircraft crashed on 27 March 1917.

 

Click to view full image...1917 (Feb 15-27) Mount Gambier to Melbourne flight by Basil Watson, special postcard depicting Watson, with the message "May Aviation succeed in Peace as it has in helping to down our enemies". Franked KGV 1d tied by the special oval "AUSTRALIAN / AERIAL MAIL / MELBOURNE / 27 FEB 1917 / VIC." datestamp with the Mt. Gambier c.d.s (Feb 15) at the left. 371 Cards flown, very fine, ex. Eustis. AAMC 10, $600. 200-250

Click to view full image...1917 (Feb 20-27) Warrnambool to Melbourne flight by Basil Watson, special postcard depicting Watson franked KGV 1d tied by the special oval "AUSTRALIAN / AERIAL MAIL / MELBOURNE / 27 FEB 1917 / VIC." datestamp with the Warrnambool c.d.s (Feb 20) at the left. Heavy repaired crease to lower left corner and small tear at base. 326 Cards flown. AAMC 11, $600. 100-120

Click to view full image...1917 (Feb 20) Basil Watson Hamilton to Melbourne special postcard with KGV 1d tied by the Melbourne Aerial Post datestamp (Feb 27), Hamilton c.d.s (Feb 15), interesting message including "Basil Watson arrived here this evening, came from Warrnambool in about 59 minutes. It was too windy to land at the show ground, had to go out to the mill". 299 Cards flown. Fine and scarce, ex Eustis. AAMC 12, $600. 250-300

Click to view full image...1917 (Feb 20) Basil Watson Casterton to Melbourne special postcard with KGV 1d tied by the Melbourne Aerial Post datestamp (Feb 27), Casterton c.d.s (Feb 20), light corner crease, otherwise fine and scarce. 269 Cards flown. AAMC 13, $600. . 250-300

Click to view full image...1917 (Feb 15-17) Basil Watson Mt. Gambier to Melbourne flight, unused postcard, very fine. AAMC 14a, $250. 100-120

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Australian Air Post 1914 "Australia's First Aerial Mail Melbourne to Sydney", special Arthur Rickard & Co. ppc, dated May 26 and sent from Sydney to Melbourne, handwritten memo "This is by the first flying post", also another cardheaded "Inauguration of Australia's Aerial Mail", dated 15th July and sent from Melbourne to Sydney, with arrival pmk, little card flaws, otherwise fine and scarce pair of pioneer flight cards Sold by Cherrystone, March 2005, $659