Transatlantic ships on Polish postage stamps for the first time in a long time

Polish Post has introduced 3 postage stamps of the “Polish Transatlantics” issue. The circulation of each of them is 140 thousand pieces. The new series “Polish transatlantics” hit the post offices in the whole country on 23 July this year.

The author of the stamp designs is the artist Marzanna Dąbrowska, and the three Polish pre-war transatlantic ships depicted on them are: SS Polonia, SS Pułaski and SS Kościuszko, painted by the excellent Polish marine artist Adam Werka (1917-2000).

The first stamp depicts the transatlantic liner SS Polonia. This steamer was built in 1910 in Glasgow. It came to Poland in 1930 and was initially used by the company Polskie Transatlantyckie Towarzystwo Okrętowe (PTTO), and then, from October 1934, by Gdynia-America Shipping Lines SA.

SS Polonia operated the Gdynia-Copenhagen-Halifax-New York line, and from 1933 the so-called Palestine line, running on the route Constanta-Stanbul-Jafa-Haifa-Pireus-Stanbul-Constanza.

The second stamp depicts the transatlantic liner SS Kościuszko. This ship, like the Polonia, became part of the Polish Transatlantic Ship Company in 1930. It sailed on the New York, Palestine and South American lines and as a cruise ship.
On the eve of the outbreak of World War II, she was sent to Great Britain. In 1941, she came under the flag of the Polish Navy, where she sailed as a troop transport, taking part, among other things, in the landings in Sicily.

The third steamer shown on the series of stamps “Polish Transatlantics” is the SS Pułaski. It sailed under the Polish flag from 1930 on the Gdynia-New York route. In 1932 the steamer transported the Polish Olympic team to the games in Los Angeles. From 1936, SS Pułaski was redirected to the route Gdynia-Buenos Aires.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Polish soldiers, previously interned in Hungary and Romania, were transported on board to France, where they could join the native army being formed there and continue fighting alongside the Allies.

The Polish Post Office has supplemented the “Polish transatlantics” series with thematic envelopes of the first day of circulation. They depict individual ships in the paintings of Adam Werka in their war costumes and their sketches by Marek Twardowski.

For more than a quarter of a century there have been no more Polish passenger liners on transatlantic routes – they were replaced by aircraft. The white-and-red flag fluttered on them for 57 years. Nine transatlantic liners and several thousand sailors and officers working on them have created the history of Polish ocean liners.

Apart from this year’s three, the Polish Post wants to showcase another six transatlantic ships in the coming years: Piłsudski, Batory, Sobieski, Chrobry, Jagiełło and Stefan Batory.
Most likely, we will have to wait for them until 2023 and 2025.


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