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On 23 March, 1815 USS HORNET captured HMS PENGUIN off Tristan da Cunha in the last action of the War of 1812.
The War of 1812 lasted two and a half years and was fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom and its North American colonies and American Indians. War had been declared by the United States on 18 June, 1812 for several reasons, many connected to the Napoleonic wars; for example trade restrictions that affected America and the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy which had expanded enormously during the Napoleonic Wars.
At the end of the war both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent 24 December, 1814 and both parties returned occupied land to its pre-war owner and resumed friendly trade relations. News of the Treaty didn't arrive in the United States for a further month when it was unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate and proclaimed on the 18 February 1815. Master Commandant James Biddle aboard the HORNET was unaware of the imminent peace when he set sail from New York in January 1815.
HORNET had carried the final diplomatic messages from Britain and then returned to sea to become the first ship in the Navy to capture a British vessel. In 1813 she sank HMS PEACOCK and in 1814 she was part of a small squadron (comprising the frigate USS PRESIDENT, the sloops of war USS PEACOCK and HORNET and the Brig-rigged tender USS TOM BOWLINE prepared at New York to attack British shipping in the Indian Ocean. On 15 January 1815 USS PRESIDENT took advantage of a gale to break out of the harbour but was captured by the blockading British squadron. A week later the remaining three ships, unaware of the PRESIDENT's fate, took advantage of another storm and evading the blockaders made for a pre-arranged rendezvous with the PRESIDENT off Tristan da Cunha. During the voyage, HORNET lost touch with the other two vessels. USS PEACOCK and USS TOM BOWLINE reached the rendezvous first, on 18 March, but were then driven off by a gale.
HORNET, reached the island on 22 March and was about to drop anchor when an unfamiliar sail was spotted. The Cruiser-class brig-sloop HMS PENGUIN (Captain James Dickenson) was a new vessel carrying the same main battery as the HORNET, 18 carronades (broadside battery) and 2 long twelves (as bow chasers). She had been despatched from Cape Town to hunt down an American privateer, the YOUNG WASP, which had been attacking homeward-bound East Indiamen.
As soon as HORNET was sighted Dickenson prepared to engage and for some 15 minutes the two ships exchanged broadsides. As Dickenson turned to close with the HORNET he was mortally wounded. The two ships collided and PENGUIN’s bowsprit ran across HORNET 's deck between the main and mizzen masts, badly damaging the American rigging. Neither made any attempt to board the other and the gunnery duel continued. As the two vessels separated PENGUIN's foremast fell and unable to manoeuvre his ship Lieutenant McDonald, now in command of PENGUIN, surrendered.
Amazingly not a single British carronade shot had hit the hull of HORNET, whereas PENGUIN was too badly damaged to be repaired. The Americans removed her stores and hurriedly set her alight when more sails, which turned out to be the PEACOCK and TOM BOWLINE, were sighted.
The TOM BOWLINE took the British prisoners to St. Salvador, Brazil as HORNET and PEACOCK headed for the East Indies. On 27 April they sighted and headed for what they believed to be an East Indiaman before realising that their intended victim was in fact a British ship of the line, HMS CORNWALLIS. Recently completed at Bombay from teak the CORNWALLIS was fast and a chase that lasted two and a half days ensued. Eventually HORNET evaded capture by jettisoning pretty much everything on-board, including part of the forecastle. Without stores, guns, anchors or even the ships' bell, HORNET headed home.

Congressional Gold Medals awarded for two spectacular victories made HORNET one of the most decorated ships of the war.

Tristan da Cunha 2015 £1.10 and £2.50 sg?, scott? HORNET details and history you can find on viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7144&p=7140&hilit=HORNET#p7140
PENGUIN details and history you can find on: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10424&p=10925&hilit=HORNET#p10925


Slovenia issued an ms which depict the first cargo vessel owned by the shipping company Splosna Plovba at Koper, at that time Yugoslavia.
Built as a Victory-type cargo vessel under yard No 36 by Victoria Machinery Depot Ltd., Victoria BC, Canada for the British Government.
Laid down as the FORT BERENS, but before launching transferred to Park SS Co., Montreal (Canadian Transport Co. Vancouver) a Canadian Government Company.
Launched as the MISSION PARK.
Tonnage 7,164 grt, 4,295 net, 10,310 dwt, dim. 134.6 x 17.4 x 10.63, length bpp. 129.4m.
One triple expansion 3-cyl. steam engine, manufactured by Dominion Engineering Works Ltd., Montreal PQ. ?hp, speed 11 knots.
20 October 1944 completed.

1947 Sold to Montreal, Australia, New Zealand Line Ltd, Montreal, Canada and renamed OTTAWA VALLEY.
1950 Transferred to British flag and registry, with homeport London.
1954 Sold to Splosna Plovba, Koper, Yugoslavia and renamed ROG.
Under Yugoslavia flag did have a crew of 43, and used also as a training ship by the company for sailors and cadets.
She was the first Yugoslavian vessel which made a call at Tsingtao, China.
During a typhoon in the Pacific in February 1956, she lost a crew member and was damaged, made a call at Hakodate on Hokkaido Island , Japan for repairs.
1966 Sold to Wm Brandts (Leasing) Ltd., Hong Kong and renamed MILLS TRIDENT.
23 January 1969 arrived by Keun Hwa Iron & Steel Works, Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping.

Slovenia 2015 1.33 Euro sg?, scott?
Source: Various internet sites.


The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (German: Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger - DGzRS) is responsible for Search and Rescue in German territorial waters in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, including the Exclusive Economic Zone.
The DGzRS operates 61 vessels on 54 stations in the North Sea and Baltic. 20 of which are seagoing cruisers between 20 m and 46 m of length and 41 vessels are classified as inshore lifeboats.
A feature of the cruisers is that all but the 20-m class carry a fully equipped small lifeboat on deck which can quickly be released through a gate in the aft for conducting operations in shallow waters. This principle was developed by DGzRS in the 1950s. The 20-m class uses a rigid-hulled inflatable boat instead.
More than 80,000 people has already been rescued from dangerous situations since its creation in 1865 the DGzRS. They operate thanks to donations. Visit their website. You never know when YOU might need them to be ready. ... PEDIA.html

The stamp depict the WILHELM KAISEN.
Built as a lifeboat under yard No 6430 by Schweers at Bardenfleth (on the Weser River) for the Deutschen Gesellschaft zur Retting Schiffbrüchiger (DGzRS).(German Society for Sea Rescue.)
06 April 1987 christened in Bardenfleth as the WILHELM KAISEN (KRS11) named after a long serving mayor of the town Bremen. She was one of the 44-m class.
Displacement 185 ton, dim. 44.2 x 8.05 x 2.8m. (draught)
Powered by three diesel-engines 6,380 hp, three shafts, speed maximum 30 knots.
Crew 6.
She was also fitted out with a daughter boat built under yard No 6431 by the same yard which received the name HELEN (KRT11) she was named after the first name of the wife of the mayor.
Displacement 5.8 ton, dim. 8.5 x 2.7 x 0.9m (draught).
Powered by one diesel engine 240 hp. one shaft, speed 13 knots.

After completion based at the South harbour in Helgoland.
2000 Modernised and updated with the most modern nautical equipment, her crew quarters refitted and the hospital ward changed in a multipurpose room. The last can be used as additional accommodation or a meeting room.
Her stern section was widened mainly below the waterline to give her a better stability in the high seas from behind.
When a new lifeboat on 08 July 2003 took over the station in Helgoland, WILHELM KAISEN was relocated to Sassnitz on the island of Rügen in the Baltic.
18 May 2012 out of service.
22 October 2012 sold to Worldwide Procurement Serv Fze, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and renamed SHERRIE ANNE.
Registered under the Togo flag and used as security vessel against piracy off the East African coast.
She was refitted by Tamsen Maritim in Rostock, Germany as a security vessel, and sailed from Rostock on 21 December 2012.
2015 Her last position was in Dubai, IMO No 7700166, same name and owners, managed by Tier One Holdings Ltd., Dubai.

Germany 2015 0.62 Euro sg?. Scott?


The 30p stamp of St Helena gives the inscription “1673 English Recapture” and shows a British warship on the road most probably Captain Richard Munden‘s ship the HMS ASISSTANCE when he recaptured the island in 1673.
He was a commodore of a small British squadron with an East India convoy on her way to India. Nearing St Helena he was warned that the Dutch had took possession of the island, and he attacked the island with his squadron and recaptured it again on 4 May 1673 for the British crown.
The ASSISTANCE was built by Henry Johnson at Deptford for the Royal Navy.
December 1649 ordered.
1650 Launched as the ASSISTANCE.
When buil: Tonnage 513 ton (bm), dim. 121 x 30.10 x 15.5ft, length of keel 101.6ft.
Armament 40 guns.
Crew 180.
1650 Commissioned under command of Captain John Bourne.
Most of her history is given on the web-site below. Her voyage to St Helena is not mentioned at all there.
07 January 1673 command was taken by Captain Richard Munden.
Under his command was she at the recapture of St Helena from the Dutch in May 1673.
1674 Was she back again in England. ... Assistance
Altogether she was four times rebuilt, in 1687, 1699, 1713 and 1725.
The ASSISTANCE was sunk as a breakwater in 1745 at Sheerness.

St Helena 2002 30p sg?, scott? (On the painting she is the vessel in the foreground.)
Sources: Internet and British Warships in the Age of Sail by Rif Winfield.


On 20th December 1672 four Dutch ships, led by Jacob de Gens, arrived off St. Helena from the Cape. A landing party came ashore at Lemon Valley but was repelled by English planters hurling rocks from above. Returning after dark, a light was seen near another landing place, Bennetts Point, close to Swanley Valley, on the western side of the Island. A traitor named William Coxe, accompanied by his slave, had lit a fire and was waiting to guide the Dutch invasion force onto the island. Five hundred men came ashore and were led up the precipitous cliffs by Coxe and his slave, who was then murdered to keep the treacherous story secret.
The Dutch met no opposition until they reached High Peak where they overpowered a small detachment of English troops stationed at the fort. The Dutch continued unchallenged to Ladder Hill where they now looked down on James Fort, knowing that if they took James Fort, they took the Island.
A detachment of Dutch troops made repeated advances towards James Fort but were driven back each time. However the small group in the fort were trapped; the Dutch were above them and also attacking them from the sea. Governor Anthony Beale realised the Dutch had the strategic advantage, being in possession of Ladder Hill Fort, and that he could not defend his weak position indefinitely. The governor spiked his guns, spoiled the gun powder and retreated with his entourage and their possessions to the ship HUMPHREY AND ELIZABETH which was anchored in James Bay. They set sail for Brazil.
According to Dutch records they gained little in monetary terms from their new posession, the most valuable items being an English slave ship, 220 slaves and 551 tusks of ivory. They repaired the fort and set a garrison of 100 men to defend the island.

St Helena 2002 25p sg?, scott?


The following I found in Log Book Volume 15 of May 1986 and written by Tom Lloyd.
Built as a wooden brig rigged ship at Falmouth for Lake & Co.
Launched as the MONTAGUE
180 Ton.
Armament 8 – 9pdrs, 2 – 6pdrs guns.
Captain George Tippet was appointed on 30th July 1810, before she actual completion, though he never commanded her while on postal duties.
She was chartered in 1811 as a Falmouth Packet by the Post Office.
In 1810 a ’Convention for the Agreements of Packets between His Britannic Majesty and His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent of Portugal was signed on February the 19th at Rio de Janeiro. This covered the packet route to the Brazilian port of Bahia and/or Rio de Janeiro, which was increased to the number of ports of call in Brazil; plus an extra ‘en-route’ stop. The final development meant that the route from England set off from Falmouth, called at Funchal, (Madeira) for one day; Santa Cruz (Tenerife) for a few hours, then Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio in Brazil. This proved successful and so continued to the route used until the year 1850.
It was on this South American Packet services that the 180 ton MONTAGUE found her main employment, first sailing from Falmouth on the tenth of October 1812, captained since the fifth of July 1811 by Johnathan A. Norway. She got there o.k. but on Christmas Day she departed from Rio on her first and rather eventful, return journey, during which she was attacked by a sixteen-gun, American pirate ship which she heroically beat off after a battle lasting three hours. Most of MONTAGUE’s ammunition, in the form of ‘shot’ was used up – to such an extent that it has been reported that one of her crew estimated that a mere extra quarter of an hour, would have meant certain defeat!!
Two of the MONTAGUE’s sailers were wounded and the ship herself suffered great damage to her rigging and sails. Limping slowly back she arrived at Torbay on the 27th of February 1813, and in the south Westerly gales the mail was taken ashore at Brixham. It was on Saint David’s Day (March 1st) that she finally made it into harbour at Falmouth.
On the 18th of October 1813, the MONTAGUE, sailed again from Falmouth and on landing at Madeira found that, quite unexpectedly, she had caught up with the previous South American Packet, the (first) LADY MARY PELHAM. They sailed from there together, but on the second of November they both came under attack from the GLOBE, another American schooner privateer, armed with ‘eight, nine-pounder’ guns, plus an extra, ‘long gun’ in the bows; and carrying about a hundred pirates.
Skippered by a Captain Moon, the GLOBE was from Baltimore and early in the battle, this ship ‘totally disabled’ the MONTAGUE which however, somehow continued in action. Her captain and four members of the crew were killed, while seven others were very seriously injured. The GLOBE was finally beaten off by the two courageous packets, which then immediately sailed to the shelter of Tenerife, where MONTAGUE left her wounded crewmen for hospitalization. The LADY MARY PELHAM went on to Brazil, from whence she set sail, back again on the 7th of January 1814, arriving eventually at Falmouth. The MONTAGUE on the other hand, left Tenerife on the 18th of December to return to Falmouth (Having I assume transferred the mail to the LADY MARY PELHAM); and called at Madeira on the 2nd of January 1814. Having been badly damaged, she was driven onshore at the Scilly Islands twelve days later; and was ‘holed in the bilges’. After attention, she struggled on to Falmouth, where she ‘docked’ on the last day of February.
After repairs, etc. the MONTAGUE set sail for the South Americas once more, leaving Falmouth on Christmas Day 1814 now commanded by her third, and last captain John Watkins (appointed on the fourth of February, whilst she had been on the way home from Madeira.)
This time the MONTAGUE is reported to have left England with a shortage of crew members and without all her stores on board. On Boxing Day, her luck (if she ever had any!) ran out again, for this time she ran foul of a brig at 9 o’clock, being put aground until about 2.30 p.m. The rest of this particular journey was however, quite peaceful, for she got herself to Rio in one piece, sailing for home once more on the 15th of March 1815, and arriving back at Falmouth on the 7th May.
The next recorded voyage of the MONTAGUE, for the South American Packet Service, that I can discover, commenced on her leaving Falmouth, on the tent of December 1817. This time she seems to have had a completely uneventful outward voyage; but after leaving Rio de Janeiro on the 26th of February 1818, she again came into contact with a pirate ship; this time one from Buenos Aires. This was the eighteen-gun RATTLER, whose captain, in complete contradiction to the commonly held ideas of ‘pirates’ and unlike the North American counterparts, is said to have behaved ‘ with the greatest politeness’ so the relieved crew of the MONTAGUE continued to sail her back to England, getting in to Falmouth on the 29th of April 1818.
The MONTAGUE seems then too have disappeared from the record books, until,that is, 1820, when she set sail for another ‘Packet trip’ on the 18th of October. Firstly under the direction of Lord Castereagh she was ordered to ‘tough-in’ at Lisbon, presumably to deliver or collect more mail. After leaving there, she became leaky and had to go to Gibraltar, for urgent repair work. She arrived at Pernambuco in Brazil on the 7th of February 1821; and then on the eleventh found herself being fired upon by the guns of the fort guarding the harbour at Bahia! She got ‘in’ and ‘out’ all right, however and the continued to Rio, from whence she re-sailed on the 18th of March. On the 27th of May, she docked once again at Falmouth.
During the year of 1823, the MONTAGUE, actually succeeded in sailing the ‘round trip’ from England to Brazil and back again without any reported trouble or misadventure leaving Cornwall on the fourteenth of May and Rio on the twentieth of July. She called at Bahia on the fourth of August. Pernambuco on the twelfth, and got back to Falmouth harbour on the tenth of September.
However, exactly one year later, the MONTAGUE sailed from the Cornish port on what was to become the last voyage as Packet Ship. This her final trip was to be very short duration, for, early in her voyage, she suddenly sprang such a serious leak, that on putting in at Tenerife only fifteen days ‘out’ she was surveyed and condemned by the authorities. The mail she was carrying was later added to that of the following packet ship, the EMULOUS which had left Falmouth on the fifteenth of October; and both lots of post arrived at Rio on the nineteenth of December, just in time for Christmas.
Letters taken by these Falmouth packets to and from Brazil can be identified by special marks which were applied to them and which can be found illustrated in Alan Robertson’s encyclopaedic work “A History of the Ship Letters of the British Isles”. There is for example, the Falmouth Packet Letter mark applied in capital letters, arranged in two lines; and measuring 52mm by 14mm overall, which was used from 1809 t0 1815. Also of interest to anyone looking for an example of MONTAGUE mail, is the circular mark with the work ‘Brazil’ curved above a ‘two line’ date and with the letter ‘F’ for the Falmouth Packet Service at the base; used from 1812 to 1850 most often applied in green though very occasionally found in red ink.
This then has been a mere sketch of the working life of one of the Post Office Packet ships, working the route to Brazil during the early part of the last century. I hope this has brought about the realization that being on board a ‘humble’ Post Office ship, such as the MONTAGUE was no picnic, for it was so fraught with danger, that it was quite often a miracle that the mail got through, but it almost always did....


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby john sefton » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:21 pm

Click image to view full size
Lake Malawi is approximately 575km long and up to 80km wide. It forms part of the Great Rift Valley with steep and precipitous slopes in places. It is the third largest lake in Africa and amongst the twelve largest lakes in the world. The deepest part of the lake, at the northern end, is 213 metres below sea level or 701 metres deep. The lake surface covers an area of nearly 23,000 square kilometres, which is approximately 20% of the total area of the Republic of Malawi.
Ships have been operated on Lake Malawi by Malawi Railways since 1931 and vessels have been able to connect with the rail system at Chipoka since 1935. However, because of the exposed nature of the lake shore at Chipoka the headquarters of the Lake Service were developed at Monkey Bay, the nearest sheltered bay about 45 kilometres almost due east of Chipoka.
Built in 1935, the first modern ship to operate commercially on Lake Malawi was the MV MPASA. At that time the facilities at Chipoka were very scant and there were no services at any of the ports of call. The complete redevelopment of Chipoka was completed in 1979 whilst proper harbour installations were first provided at Chilumba in the northern region in 1973.
Improvements have also been made at Monkey Bay including in 1975 the provision of a slipway.

The MV MTENDERE entered service in October 1980, she was the first vessel to provide seating accommodation for all passengers. In her first full year of service she carried 70,000 passengers but two years later this had increased to nearly 100,000. The vessel operates a weekly schedule serving the major ports and many smaller ones; she also serves the islands of Likoma and Chizuniulu.

Log Book September 1985

Malawi SG730
john sefton
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Mtendere

Postby aukepalmhof » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:40 pm

2014 mtendere.jpg
Click image to view full size
Built in sections as a ferry under yard No 1415 by Schlichting Werft, Travemünde, Germany for the Malawi Railways Ltd. The ship was paid by the German Government as aid to the Malawian Government.
The sections arrived at Lake Malawi on 25 July 1980 were the sections again were fitted together.
03 October 1980 completed as the MTENDERE.
Tonnage 924 grt, dim. 50.7 x 9.7 x 2.4m. (draught)
Two diesel engines each 498 hp, speed 11.5 knots.

Malawi 2014 K100 sg?, scott?
Posts: 4209
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

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