Today in Postal History



Cape Juby to United States
July 4, 1938

This colorful registered airmail first day cover originated in Cape Juby in northwest Africa.
Cape Juby lies on the African coast at the same latitude as the Canary Islands.
Cape Juby became a Spanish possession in 1916 with aggreement from the French.
It was administered in conjunction with Spanish Sahara.

This cover is a first day cover for all ten values of the first airmail issue in 1938 (C1 to C10).
The stamps are overprinted CABO JUBY on the first airmails of Spanish Marocco.

Cape Juby stamps were replaced by stamps of Spanish Sahara in 1948.
Cape Juby was ceded to Morocco in 1958.

The stamps were cancelled with six registry cancels.
There is probably only one post office in Cape Juby.

The envelope was preprinted with a place for stamping the registry number (518)
as well as the black cross lines indicating a registered  item.

Note that there was also a strike a a military censor for Cape Juby.
Spain at this time was torn by the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.

A label indicating the first day of issue was added as well as a bi-lingual airmail etiquette.
There are no transit marks on the front of the cover although
there should be some from New York City on the rear.
The cover would likely have been routed to take advantage of the
Pan American Airways Trans Atlantic service established in May of 1938.
The route, F.A.M. 18,  was New York City, Horta (Azores), Lisbon, to Marseilles.

Cape Juby has an interesting history in early aviation.
Pilot-author Antoine Saint-Exupéry spent 18 months there as airfield commander for Didier Daurat.
He managed to write a book in his extended spare time.

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