Postal Service





RCAF Gander Christmas Card 1942

by R.G. Pelley

There is no date on this card but the former owner has identified it as 1942, I believe from what he remembers of the envelope, long since disappeared.  I got this from a chap in the state of Washington, USA, which brings up the question of why an RCAF card rather than a United States Army Air Force card would have been sent to the US. But then again, it could very well be something as simple as an airman originally from BC having friends or relatives down across the border.

This card has a number of interesting aspects. It is for example printed on decent quality paper but was probably done on the same type of press as newspaper, as it very grainy even to the point that scanning it requires quite a bit of adjustment.   One can understand though that in wartime Gander, photographic facilities would have been limited.


Personally, I think the front cover is quite dramatic and artistic.  The rays of sunlight have turned the pilot into a saint.  A photo with the pilot outside the cockpit, looking off in the distance, is in and of itself unusual.  What can he be thinking? Hey, I’m lucky to have a soft job in Gander? Hey, I’d love to get to Britain and see some action?  Let’s get this photo over so I can get down to Deadmans Pond for a swim?

inside card

The inside of the card shows in the sky another airplane common to Gander at the time, a B-24 Liberator. Maybe it is being ferried to Europe, perhaps it is en route to look for U-boats or , who knows, maybe it is bringing Winston Churchill back home to England.

Another important point is that we see no military facilities -  no hangers, no workshops, no antennas, no equipment.  Why give information to the enemy who might send in saboteurs to blow things up.  Even the name of the place is absent – just a military identification, Canadian Army Post office (CAPO) no 4.


Researched and contributed by R G Pelley from his personal historical aviation collections


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