From 1940 to 1942 the Axis forces besieged the island of Malta with air and naval forces. During this time supplies were delivered by the British to the Island by convoy to enable it to resist the siege. Operation Pedestal (Il-Konvoj ta’ Santa Marija – ‘Santa Maria Convoy’ in Maltese) was mounted in August in 1942 and was carrying much needed fuel. More than 500 Merchant and Royal Navy sailors and airmen were killed and only five of the 14 merchant ships reached Grand Harbour.
To mark the 80th anniversary of this heroic feat British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS), in association with the George Cross Islands Association (GCIA) will be publishing a commemorative cover to be released on the 15th of August 2022 (date of arrival into Grand Harbour, Malta).
The cover bears an image of the atmospheric painting ‘The Gallant Ohio’ by Robert Taylor. A 1st class stamp will be cancelled by the bespoke BFPS handstamp numbered 3241.
A standard unsigned version will cost £8 each whilst a numbered limited edition of 80 signed by the Honourable Tim Lewin (Son of the Late Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin and organiser of the London Maltese Siege Memorial) will cost £16 each. The signed version cover will bear a first class stamp carrying an image of a Hurricane fighter plane.
All covers include an information insert and will be presented in a protective cellophane sleeve making a very collectable souvenir of the anniversary of Operation Pedestal.