Am feeling really good to write about today's item. When I had bought this one on eBay through some Canada based gentleman long time back, I couldn't get enough details on it. It was lying in my album. All I new was this was related to India :-) again as told by gentleman. I tried doing Google but was not able to gather information.
I decided to put this item here so others can identify it. But before I do that I decided to Google again and voila! I got some information this time. Seems, luck was on my side finally.
The item is about War Rocket Mail Labels used on 19th Sept, 1939 in Calcutta, India. I have the unused label set of Rocket Mail no 207 and 208 not the used envelopes shown below. I just somehow managed to get images of same labels used during Rocket mail flight for collectors reference.
Stephen Smith, the pioneer in rocket mail was born in Shillong, Assam, India on February 4, 1891. Between September 30, 1934 and December 4, 1944, he conducted more than 250 rocket launches. Lots of such experimental launch included rocket mails while others carried even livestock/animals.
Lots of countries experimented in rocket mail, but Stephen Smith is known to be most successful of all.
Coming back to original item, the label "War Rocket" no. 207 and 208 were definitely part of WWII period. I really don't know how many such "War Rocket" label exists.
The other used envelope with no. 208 is shown below:
It is said that less than 100 such cards/envelopes were flown. These cards had comment on reverse: "Life is a mirror, the good and the bad seen in others, are hazy reflections of our own" with Stephen Smith's signature on front.
In 1992 his contributions were recognized by the Indian Government with the issuing of a stamp and first day cover on the centenary of his birth.
I feel the post will be incomplete without sharing the stamp and a special cover which was issued in his honor. So here it is: