As a tribute to all who have served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the last century, Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) has commissioned a set of eight commemorative stamps, officially licenced by the Ministry of Defence, highlighting the rich history and legacy of the RAF – the world's first independent air force.
A unique feature of this stamp collection is the incredible depth of information that each stamp contains in relation to the RAF history. The stamps not only include images of iconic RAF aircraft – from the earlier fighter aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel, to the more recent Typhoon and Lighting II – they also contain other details such as key airfields, personnel, medal ribbons, flags and the RAF Ensign.
Each stamp also includes a secret message in morse code, which is only visible under UV light. Once deciphered, the message reveals the well-known poem 'High Flight', by John Gillespie Magee, a Canadian Air Force pilot who trained at the RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire. The poem was penned shortly before he died, at the age of 19, in a Spitfire training accident at RAF Cranwell. His Spitfire call sign and engine number are included on the final stamp.