Last modified: 2012-04-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: chargeurs reunis | stars: 5 (red) |
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House flag of Chargeurs Réunis
Top, first flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 November 2002
Bottom, second flag, two versions - Images by Jarig Bakker, 17 October 2005
Chargeurs Réunis was founded in Le Havre in 1872.
Twenty-five years later, the company owned 35 ships. They transported
each year some 470,000 tons cargo and 13,600 passengers (data for
1891). Their lines linked Le Havre to the coast of West Africa, Brazil,
Argentina and New York.
In 1916, Chargeurs Réunis took the control of Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, which operated big, modern liners owned by the French state on the Bordeaux-Brazil-Plata line.
In 1927, the Fabre family raided Chargeurs Réunis via an hostile tender offer, a procedure which was very uncommon at that time. Paul
Cyprien Fabre presided the Fabre company, whereas Léon Cyprien
Fabre and his associate Alexis Baptifaut presided Chargeurs
The group invested in air transport in 1933. After an unsuccessful attempt to take over Aéropostale, the group founded Aéromaritime. In 1937, Chargeurs Réunis, still directed by Léon Fabre and Alexis Baptifaut, seceded from Fabre.
After the Second World War, the company, presided by Francis Cyprien Fabre, reduced its fleet to some 15 ships. Between
1964 and 1976, the company took over several French ship owners,
including Fabre, Fraissinet, Société Générale des Transport Maritimes, Paquet and Union Navale.
In 1979, Chargeurs Réunis was involved in several branches of international transport, including:
- maritime bulk and container shipping, transport of passengers, cars and gas;
- port agency;
- air transport, with a 63% interest in the carrier UTA;
- the UTH chain of 17 international hotels.
The company, then the third biggest in Europe, operated 64 ships, 40 under its flag and 24 in association with Delmas-Vieljeux.In January 1980, Jérôme Seydoux took the control of Chargeurs Réunis and progressively sold off all the branches of the group. In 1990, the whole fleet had been sold and UTA was taken over by Air France.
Source: Fabre family website (no longer online)
Ivan Sache, 23 January 2005
According to Lloyds the company was formed 1886 as Compagnie Française de Navigation à Vapeur Chargeurs Réunis changing to Compagnie Maritime des Chargeurs Réunis and then in 1988 to Chargeurs S.A., disappearing by 2000. There are a couple of other variation in sundry books with most referring simply to Chargeurs Réunis.
Neale Rosanoski, 25 December 2002
The first house flag of Chargeurs Réunis is white with five red stars placed 2+1+2.
The actual flag was changed apparently towards the end with the addition in the hoist of a red oblong stripe placed vertically by Brown (1995) [lgr95] but slanting slightly per bend sinister in other sources.
Ivan Sache, Neale Rosanoski & Jarig Bakker, 17 October 2005
House flags of Compagnie Sud-Atlantique
Left, flag used 1911-1931 - Image by Jarig Bakker, 12 February 2005
Right, flag used 1931-1962 - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 January 2005
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.
Placed in 1914 under the control of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, the CNSA was taken over two years later by Chargeurs Réunis. It operated state-owned liners on lines to South America. With only two hips in 1957, the company lowered its flag in 1962.
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, and launched on 15 February 1938.
The inauguration cruise of the Pasteur being 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. Seized by Britain on 4 July 1940 and given back to France on 16 April 1946, the ship 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, when 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 cancelled with two horizontal 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 Œuvres 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 recommended to consult an expert before purchasing a "surcharge-free" Pasteur stamp.
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, as shown for instance on Brown's Flags and Funnels [wed26]. In 1931, the rooster was replaced by a red ring.
Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 12 February 2005