A Postal History Gallery of Related Events


The U.S. Navy and Ice Breakers



Operation Nanook

Operation Nanook measured cosmic radiation in the eastern arctic in 1953 using two ice breakers. Mail was handled through standard fleet post office procedures.


Scandinavian Air Service Special Flight - Oslo to Japan


The Scandinavian Air Service initiated a pioneer route over the pole following the Great Circle Route.

A need to provide special medical staff for the Ambulance Corp in Korea was resolved by a charter plane obtained by the Norwegian Red Cross. Regular passengers were not carried.

Collectors mail was postmarked May 23rd and the plane followed the polar route making fuel stops at Thule, Greenland and Shemya Island in Alaska. The plane arrived in Tokyo on May 25th. The two day flight proved that the polar route was feasible for commercial flights.

Special arrangements were made to carry some of the covers on a continuing flight through India, to Copenhagen and Oslo. These covers were franked by an additional 55 Ore in Norwegian stamps. The cachet was also extended to show the full flight pattern.

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The covers from the first leg were returned to Copenhagen by pouch.


(Exhibition pieces courtesy of George Hall)