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Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by
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[Sud-Atlantique houseflag]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique

Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique was created in 1911, in relation to the shipyard of La Ciotat, then specialized in the building of high-category liners.
The company was placed in 1914 under the control of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and was taken over two years later by Chargeurs Réunis. It operated state-owned liners on lines to South America.

In 1933, MS Atlantique, the flagship of the company was lost in a blaze. She was replaced by MS Pasteur, built in the Penhoët shipyard, in Brittany. The Pasteur was launched on 15 February 1938. The inauguration cruise of the Pasteur was scheduled for September 1939. The President of Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique asked the French post to release a commemorative postage stamp representing the liner. In the middle of August 1939, 4 millions stamps were produced. However, the cruise was cancelled because of the declaration of war on 2 September 1939. On 2 June 1940, the Pasteur left Landévennec, near Brest , for Halifax (Canada), carrying 200 tons of gold. The ship was seized by Britain on 4 July 1940 and given back to France on 16 April 1946. She was used for the transport of troops during the War of Indochina. On 9 June 1980, the Pasteur was lost in the Indian Ocean on her way to scrap in Taiwan.

The stamp sheets remained unreleased until 1941. Admiral Darlan, State Secretary of the Navy in the Vichy Government, obtained the release of the stamp, whose face value was modified. The original value (70 centimes) was suppressed with two horrizontal red lines, whereas the new value 1 F + 1 F was added in red. The 1 F surcharge was retroceded to the Service Central des Oeuvres de la Marine. The "new" postage stamp was inaugurated by Marshal Pétain in the lounges of Hôtel France et Pasteur in Vichy. A few, rare copies of the stamp lack the surcharge and are therefore highly valued. Since it is quite easy to remove the surcharge by a chemical treatment, it is highly recomended to consult an expert before purchasing a "surcharge-free" Pasteur stamp.

In 1957, the Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique operated only two ships. It lowered its flag in 1962.


Ivan Sache, 23 January 2005

House flag of Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique

According to Jean Randier, the first house flag of the Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique was blue with a white diamond charged with a red rooster. In 1931, the rooster was replaced by a red ring.

Ivan Sache, 23 January 2005

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