Cyrenaica 1933 – Flying boats and the Dippers

Cyrenaica was part of the former Italian colony of Libya in north Africa. This pair of stamps commemorates a highly celebrated North Atlantic crossing in 1933 from Italy to Chicago by a formation of 24 Savoia Marchetti flying boats led by Italy’s air minister, General Italo Balbo (1896-1940). Later that same year, Balbo was appointed governor of Libya. These beautifully drawn and printed stamps contain a realistic depiction of the Big and Little Dippers, and show how the bowl of the Big Dipper can be used to locate the north pole star, Polaris, for navigation. An earlier Balbo flight, across the South Atlantic, is commemorated by a 1930 stamp from Italy.

SG number
Face value
19.75 l
Blue and green
44.75 l
Blue and red