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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Cableship Stamps - I to R

Thanks to Bill Glover for providing the stamp images and text for this page.

All material on this page is copyright © 2006 Bill Glover

Iris Norfolk Is 30c 1968.JPG (27681 bytes)

HMCS IRIS (1)

Norfolk Island    1968     30c

Built 1902, D.J.Dunlop & Company, Glasgow

Length 295.00 ft Breadth 40.7 ft Depth 15.1 ft Gross tonnage 2253

Built to maintain the 1902 Trans Pacific Cable and owned by the Pacific Cable Board, which represented the Dominion governments, so she carried the prefix HMCS, (His/Her Majesty's Cable Ship), the first to do so. Transferred to Imperial & International Communications Ltd. in 1929 and renamed RECORDER (2). Sold for scrap in 1952

CABLE WORK

1912    Diverted Norfolk Island - Doubtless Bay cable into Auckland

Mirror (2) Gibraltar 5d 1969.JPG (29762 bytes)

MIRROR (2)

Gibraltar    1969     5d

Built 1923, John Brown & Company, Clydebank

Length 259.2 ft Breadth 37.2 ft Depth 22.9 ft Gross tonnage 1850

Owned by the Eastern Telegraph Company then transferred to Imperial and International Communications Ltd in 1929. Based primarily at Gibraltar as a repair ship. Scrapped in 1964.

Mercury Bermuda 3d 1967.JPG (37651 bytes)

 

Mercury Bermuda 2s6d 1967.JPG (39112 bytes)

 

Mercury Br Virgin Is 4c 1967.JPG (42893 bytes)

 

Mercury Br Virgin Is 50c 1967.JPG (35070 bytes)

MERCURY

Bermuda             1967     3d, 2/6
British Virgin Islands        1967     4c, 50c
British Virgin Islands        1986     60c, 50c
Maldives            1976     1r
Norfolk Island            1983     75c
Penrhyn Islands        1983    36-60c, S/S
Philippines            1978     1p40

Built 1962, Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead

Length 473.0 ft Breadth 58.7 ft Depth 24.6 ft Gross tonnage 8962

Owned by Cable & Wireless. Built specifically to lay the COMPAC and SEACOM cables with HMTS MONARCH (4). C&W's main cable layer until replaced by CABLE VENTURE. From then on based in the UK for the maintenance of Atlantic cables. Seriously damaged, in 1996, after a fire in the engine room while at Bristol. Scrapped in 1997.

(MERCURY continued)

Mercury Penrhyn Is 1983.JPG (208642 bytes)

 

Mercury Philippines 1p40 1978.JPG (38685 bytes)

 

Mercury Br Virgin Is 60c 1986.JPG (36681 bytes)

 

Mercury Norfolk Island 75c 1983.JPG (31998 bytes)

CABLE WORK

1962    COMPAC
1964    SEACOM
1966    British Virgin Islands - Bermuda
1969    SAT 1 Portugal - Ascension - Cape Town
1971    CANBER Nova Scotia - Bermuda
    Jamaica - Cayman Islands
1972    Italy - Algeria
    PENCAN 2 Spain - Gran Canaria
1973    CANTAT 2 Canada - UK
    BRACAN 1 Brazil - Gran Canaria
1974    BARO Spain - Italy
1975    TASMAN Australia - New Zealand
    UK - Spain
1976    Italy - Turkey
1977    OLUHO Luzon - Hong Kong
    ASEAN Singapore - Luzon
1978    COLOMBUS Venezuela - Spain
1978    Barcelona - Majorca
1982    ANZCAN Norfolk Island - New Zealand
1983    ANZCAN
1988    PTAT 1
1989-95 Various optical fibre cables worldwide
1992    TAT 11
1995    ECFS East Carribean Fibre Optic System.

KDD Maru Japan 15y 1969.JPG (24773 bytes)

 

KDD Maru Japan 50y 1976.JPG (22083 bytes)

KDD MARU

Japan         1969    15y
Japan        1976    50y
Korea, South    1980    30w
Philippines    1977    1p30
Thailand    1983    1b25

Built 1967, Mitsubishi, Shimonoseki Shipyard, Japan

Length 373.5 ft Breadth 50.5 ft Depth 19.7 ft Gross tonnage 4100

Main cable layer for KDD. Replaced in 1992 by KDD OCEAN LINK as main cable layer and then used for cable repair work. Scrapped in 1997.

CABLE WORK

1969    JASC Japan - Siberia
1975    TPC 2 Shore ends Guam & Okinawa
    Japan - China
1977    OLUHO Okinawa - Luzon
1978    Okinawa - Taiwan
1979    Kuantan - Kuching (Malaysia)
1980    Japan - Korea
1982    ASEAN Malaysia - Singapore - Thailand
1984    Okinawa - Ninomiya Japan
1987    TPC 3 Japanese shore ends
1988    TPC 3 laying main cable 3843 km
1989    Chikura - Ninomiya Japan
1991    TPC 4 laying 1259 km cable
1992    Chikura - Miyazaki Japan 1050 km
1993    TPC 5 Japan shore ends
1996    Japan - China maintenance and renewal

(KDD MARU continued)

KDD Maru Korea S 30w 1980.JPG (23537 bytes)

 

KDD Maru Thailand 1b25 1983.JPG (34597 bytes)

 

KDD Maru Philippines 1p30 1977.JPG (38479 bytes)

Monarch (4) Guinea Bissau 5p 1983.JPG (42610 bytes)

Monarch (4) Sharjah 1np 1965.JPG (37331 bytes)Monarch (4) Sharjah 5np 1965.JPG (35163 bytes)

HMTS MONARCH (4)

Guinea Bissau    1983     5p
Sharjah    1965    1np, 5np

Built 1946, Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

Length 479.8 ft Breadth 55.7 ft Depth 27.8 ft Gross tonnage 8962

The loss of CS Faraday (2) and CS Monarch (3) left British cable companies without a cable ship capable of cable laying. So the GPO decided to have a new one built. Monarch was the largest cable ship afloat at that time The first task was the repair of existing cable networks, which had been neglected during World War II. Sold to Cable & Wireless in 1970.

CABLE WORK

1947    Aldeburgh - Domburg 6
1950    UK - Fano
    Denmark - Holland
1952    USA - Bahamas - Grand Turk - Dominican Republic
1953    Brazil - Cape Verde Islands
1954    Power cable across St Lawrence river from Manicouagan - Petit Metis
1956    TAT I UK - Newfoundland
    Cape Canaveral - Puerto Rico
1957    USA - Hawaii
1958    TAT 2 USA - France
    138kv power cables Vancouver Island - British Columbia
    UK - Jersey
    UK - Norway
1960    Marske - Gothenberg
    USA - Puerto Rico
1961    CANTAT 1 UK - Canada
    Baffin Island - Newfoundland
1962    COMPAC Sydney - Auckland - Suva
    COMPAC Hawaii - Suva: British Columbia - Hawaii
1964    SEACOM I Jessleton (Sabah ) - Singapore
    SEACOM I Jessleton - Hong Kong
    UK - Germany
1965    SEACOM II Hong Kong - Guam - Madang - Cairns
1967    Norway - Denmark
1969    SAT 1 Portugal - Ascension - Cape Town

Pacific Guardian Br Virgin Is 75c 1986.JPG (34359 bytes)

 

Pacific Guardian Br Virgin Is 80c 1986.JPG (297615 bytes)

PACIFIC GUARDIAN

British Virgin Islands    1986     75c, 80c

Built 1984, Swan Hunter Shipbuilders

Length 115.6m Breadth 18.00m Depth 10.10m Gross tonnage 6133

Owned by Cable & Wireless. Based at Suva, Fiji for maintenance work in the South Pacific.

See also the Cableships page for this ship.

Patrol Cocos Keeling 80c 1985.JPG (29536 bytes)

CS PATROL

Cocos (Keeling) Islands    1985     80c

Built 1903, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

Length 357.0 ft Breadth 44.0 ft Depth 21.0 ft Gross tonnage 3132

Built for the Eastern Extension, Australasia and China Telegraph Company. Transferred to Imperial & International Communications Ltd in 1929 and based at Singapore until 1933 when sold to Japanese shipbreakers for scrap.

CABLE WORK

1903    Balikpapan - Kwandang (Dutch East Indies)
1908    Cocos - Batavia
1922    Singapore - Batavia

Recorder (3) Br Virgin Is 75c 1986.JPG (35199 bytes)

CS RECORDER (3)

British Virgin Islands    1986     75c, 80c

Built 1955, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

Length 371.3 ft Breadth 49.2 ft Depth 19.1 ft Gross tonnage 4058

Built for and owned by Cable & Wireless. Based at Singapore as a cable repair ship covering an area from Canada to Sri Lanka. Replaced by CS RETRIEVER (5) in 1985 and sold for scrap in the same year.

CABLE WORK

1964    SEACOM Laid shore ends Jessleton (Sabah)
1977    OLUHO Laid shore ends Luzon & Hong Kong

OTHER WORK

1961    Recovered a large amount of cable from USA - Philippines cable abandoned and sold as scrap by its owners Commercial Pacific Cable Co. The cable was relaid elsewhere.

See also the Cableships page on CS Recorder (3)

Retriever (5) Br Virgin Is 35c 1986.JPG (36994 bytes)Retriever (5) Fiji 1s 1963.JPG (31679 bytes)

 

Retriever (5) Fiji 60c 1981.JPG (36399 bytes)Retriever (5) ZES 2r 1988.JPG (34295 bytes)

RETRIEVER (5)

British Virgin Islands    1986     35c, 40c
Fiji            1963     1/-
Fiji            1981     60c
Zil Elwannyen Sesel    1988    2r

Built 1961, Cammel Laird & Co., Birkenhead

Length 366.0 ft Breadth 47.6 ft Depth 19.1ft Gross tonnage 4000

Built for and owned by Cable & Wireless. Based at Fiji for maintenance of Canada - Australia cables. Later moved to Singapore to replace CS RECORDER (3) Scrapped in 1995.

CABLE WORK

1961    USA - Bermuda shore ends
1962    COMPAC Auckland - Sydney shore ends
    COMPAC Auckland - Suva shore ends

Next page: Cableship Stamps S - W

Back to the Cableship Stamps index

Last revised: 12 March, 2013

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The Atlantic Cable website is non-commercial, and its mission is to make available on line as much information as possible.

You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

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—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: Atlantic-Cable.com