Fleet Air Arm Museum Taranto 80 – Stamp Overprint: 11th to 29th November 2020

The Fleet Air Arm Museum, based at RNAS Yeovilton near Ilchester, Somerset, is delighted to announce the launch of its stamp overprint to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Taranto.

On the night of the 11th/12th November 1940, the Royal Navy readied 21 Fairey Swordfish aircraft for a daring strike against the Italian battle fleet in Taranto Harbour.  Operating from HMS Illustrious in the Eastern Mediterranean (and also with aircraft from HMS Eagle) the attack would be a decisive blow against the Italian Navy, and would be the first attack of its kind to launch an all air attack, using ship borne aircraft, against another shipping target.

Operating at extreme range from the ship, the aircraft faced extensive balloon defences and very heavy anti-aircraft fire, but the crews were still able to press home their attack, sinking or causing significant damage to many of the Italian Navy’s capital ships in the strike. Admiral Andrew Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean Fleet 1940said of the attack –  ‘the night of 11 November 1940 should be remembered forever as having shown once and for all, that in the Fleet Air Arm, the Navy has its most devastating weapon.’

To mark the anniversary, the Museum in Partnership with Royal Mail, will launch one overprint from its Post and Go kiosk (A003). The kiosk will overprint ‘Taranto 80’ and a Swordfish graphic onto the stamp design.

Post & Go machines issue traditional British postage stamps that have been adapted to serve a new generation. The stamps are capturing the interest of stamp collectors and enthusiasts worldwide at a phenomenal rate. They are currently available from dozens of fixed locations in the UK, all of which have similar Post and Go kiosk dispensers.

The overprints, due to be available from the 11th of November until the 29th of November 2020, will be accessible from kiosk A003 – housed within the Museum’s Gift Shop, open to both visitors to the main Museum and members of the general public alike.