Chilean "EDUARDO FREI" Antarctic Base

The Chilean "Eduardo Frei" Antarctic Base is situated on King George Island along with Antarctic Bases of  8 other nations.  It is unusual in that it is a rambling base scattered over quite a distance from the sea edge where there is the wharf up to the Aerodrome a distance away.   It has 21 main buildings. Sometimes the base is also called "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh" Base although this name now seems to be applied exclusively to the Aerodrome,   while the main base buildings are usually referred to as "Eduardo Frei" Base. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the Russian Bellinghausen base of 17 buildings is actually mixed in with the Eduardo Frei Base buildings.

"Eduardo Frei" as shown at right is regularly supplied by Chilean Hercules aircraft from Punta Arenas as well as by ships from  the Chilean and other Nations antarctic expeditions. Because of its location "Eduardo Frei" often operates as a main base station for the other nation's bases who rely on "Eduardo Frei" for mail and other regular supplies.

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EDUARDO 1.   1999 (15th July) cover from "Eduardo Frei Base"with Escudero cachet    Price US$4

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EDUARDO 2.   1999 (16th July) SCAR Biomas cover from "Eduardo Frei Base"    Price US$4

This cover has been postmarked on arrival at Punta Arenas with a certified (registration) datestamp. It's origins can be seen in the the picture shown below of the back of the airletter showing two cachets of the Base and arrival datestamp in Christchurch of 26th July 1999.

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Note the small Base cachet in the middle of the above cover.

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EDUARDO 3.   1999 (15th July) SCAR Biomas cover from "Eduardo Frei Base"    Price US$4

The above cover is postmarked with the Punta Arenas Maritime datestamp. It has the large Chilean Antarctic Territory official sticker at left.  On its reverse side it has the same markings as shown in the previous cover.

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EDUARDO 4.   1999 (31st July) airletter from "Eduardo Frei Base"    Price US$5

N.B. This cover bearing a Chilean SCAR penguin stamp has the SCAR cachet and two other cachets from "Eduardo Frei" Base on either front or back.     S.C.A.R. stands for Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research.

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EDUARDO 5.   1999 (17th August) winter flight mail postmarked "Eduardo Frei Ant Base"    Price US$5

N.B. This cover has the Eduardo Frei Base cachet at top left and a Chilean Antarctic sticker at lower left. On its reverse it has a King George Island map cachet.  The cover has been backstamped 30 August 1999 on arrival in Christchurch.

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EDUARDO 6.   1999 (17th August) similar cover but with diff cachet at top left.   Price US$5

N.B. This cover is otherwise identical to the previous one.

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The above name plates stand outside the main Chile Navy (Armada) depot in Punta Arenas, Chile.

EDUARDO 7.   1999 (9th September) Navy cover from "Eduardo Frei Ant Base"    Price US$5

Note: The above cover has been carried from "Eduardo Frei Antarctic Base" in the Chilean Navy Official mail bag and has the rarely seen "Correo Naval/ Punta Arenas" oval cachet at lower left. This marking and handling of mail in the Official Navy mail bag is usually reserved for Chile Service people.

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The above view shows the Bay at the "Eduardo Frei" Base

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EDUARDO 8.   1999 (9th October) Picture postcard from "Eduardo Frei Base"    Price US$5

The postcard above bearing a Chilean Navy cachet at top left is a special postcard on sale at the base. The picture side is shown below. It shows 4 different aspects of the Base.

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EDUARDO 9.   1999 (14th October) airletter from "Eduardo Frei Ant Base"    Price US$5

This airletter has a coloured Base sticker at lower left and the usual Base penguin cachet in center. It also has the large "Base Escudero" cachet.

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EDUARDO 10.   1999 (14th October) airmail letter from "Eduardo Frei Ant Base"    Price US$6

This cover has an attractive Chilean miniature sheet on it but otherwise it is similarly marked to the previous cover and it also has the King George Island map cachet which shows the various bases on the island.

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EDUARDO 11.   1999 (21st October) airmail letter from "Eduardo Frei Ant Base"    Price US$5

This cover has the "Dotacion Antartica D.G.A.C. 98-99" cachet at lower left and the "Base Escudero" cachet at top left.

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EDUARDO 12.   1999 (12th October) postcard sent from "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Base"    Price US$5

This postcard same view side as on "EDUARDO 8" was sent from the Aerodromo at the base and bears the circular cachet from the airfield as well as their special Milenio 2000 sticker.

The view at right is of a Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft on the ice at probably Patriot Hills or possibly another inland landing field.

These aircraft provide the main logistic support with many regular flights between Punta Arenas in Southern Chile and " Teniente Rodolfo Marsh"aerodrome near "Eduardo Frei" Base.

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EDUARDO 13.   1999 (25th October) airmail letter sent from "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Base"    Price US$8

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Note: The above cover and the one below have been sent by the "Administrator of the Airport" who has applied various aero cachets as well as signing the covers at bottom left.

The view at left is of the hanger used for the helicopters and Twin Otter aircraft at "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Aerodromo".

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EDUARDO 14.   1999 (21st October) airmail letter sent from "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Base"    Price US$8

A similar signed cover from the Airport Administrator but with different cachets and also with the special Milenio 2000 sticker. The cover is backstamped at Punta Arenas with the violet Linea Rapida boxed datestamp as shown on the front of the previous cover.

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EDUARDO 15.   1999 (27th October) airmail letter sent from "Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Base"    Price US$5

This cover has different cachets from the previous ones and is not signed.

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EDUARDO 16.   1999 (7th November) airmail letter sent in Medevac flight from "T.R.Marsh".  Price US$10

Note: The above cover was carried in a special Medevac flight by Chilean Airforce DHC-6 Twin Otter on the 7th November from Tte.R.Marsh airfield attached to Eduardo Frei Base to Punta Arenas. The flight carried a Metrological Station worker who had crushed his toes in an accident and required urgent medical help. The cover is signed by the airport administrator and appropriately bears a Chilean Red Cross stamp. We understand that a total of only 38 mail items was carried on this flight.

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EDUARDO 17.   1999 (25th November) airmail postcard sent from Eduardo Frei Base.   Price US$5

Note: This postcard bears an interesting boxed "Vuelo Antartico" cachet featuring a Chilean Hercules as well as the King George Island map cachet offered previously. The postcard itself has the same views on the back as the postcard offered as "EDUARDO 8".

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EDUARDO 18.   2000 (Ist January) Millennium airmail letter with two "Eduardo Frei" base cachets    Price US$4

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EDUARDO 19   2000 (February 4th) Cover from "Otway Foundation" penguin study unit.    Price US$5

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EDUARDO 20   2000 (February 23rd) Cover of Meteorological Base at Teniente Carvajal    Price US$6

Note: The above cover has the special Teniente Carvajal Base datestamp applied in red.

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The above photo shows the runway at Teniente Carvajal with a Chilean Hercules aircraft on the runway.

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