Bruce Conde, 1914 -1992

Stamp collector, stamp creator, journalist, soldier of fortune Bruce Conde died in Morocco in October 1992 at age 78.

Mr. Conde gave his full name as Major-General Abdurrahman Bruce-Alfonso de Bourbon, prince of Conde. Through genealogical research, he believed himself to be related to the Spanish house of Bourbon.

During the mid-1950s, Mr. Conde became established in Yemen. He served as a Yemeni propagandist for Arab nationalism and as a postal adviser.

In 1958, he became a Yemeni citizen and converted to the Moslem faith. He was very close to the imam, the ruler of Yemen. Later in the 1960s, Mr. Conde became a major general in the Royal Yemen Army.

For unknown reasons, Mr. Conde was expelled from Yemen in 1959. He spent time in Lebanon and Egypt, including some three weeks in 1959 stranded at the Cairo airport, a man without a country or a valid passport. Eventually he found new citizenship in Sharjah, then one of the British Trucial States near the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Conde was the designer of the first issue of Sharjah, printed by Harrison and Sons of London and released at Sharjah's one-room post office July 10, 1963. He also prepared illustrations for Sharjah's Views and Boy Scouts sets before leaving for the three-sided civil war in Yemen.

The Yemeni princes welcomed Mr. Conde back. He was involved with the 1962-1972 stamps of the Yemeni royalists, the Mutawakelite Kingdom of Yemen, as listed in Michel Asia II catalog. Throught the Yemen ministry of communications, Mt. Conde was postal adviser to the royalist ruler, the eventual loser in the civil war.

As he told it, Mr. Conde did not have full control over the royalist stamps, and he claimed to have argued unsuccessfully against the souvenir sheets, imperfs andhigh values that Lebanese stamp promoters were able to have inserted in stamp production contracts.

From Beirut, Lebanon, in the early 1960s, where he was in the American University hospital, Mr. Conde served as Linn's Middle East correspondent.

His new-issue dispatches, including those about Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria sometimes appeared on Linn's front page. In the 1970s for Linn's, he wrote articles from Granada, Spain, about Spanins stamps and the Spanish stamp market.

Over the years, Mr. Conde also wrote for various publications about Japanese and Hawaiian stamps and world-wide postal stationery. Based on his years in Lebanon, Mr. Conde wrote two travel books, See Lebanon and Byways of Byblos. He also assisted in archaeological discoveries there.

Mr. Conde was born in San Juam de Capistrano, Calif., and received degrees in Spanish from the University of California, Los Angeles. He later taught in military academies.

During World War II, Mr. Conde served as a first lieutenant in the infantry, later was in North Africa and was a captain in the Ardennes and Central European campaigns of 1944-45.

He served in Japan during 1945-48, transferring to the United States Air Force in 1947, the same year that he joined the American Philatelic Society. He completed his military service in 1950 as chief of a USAF overseas conterintelligence section.

In 1984 inTetuan, Morocco, Mr. Conde maried her royal and imperial highness Olga-Beatrice Romanov-Dolgorukiy, princess of Ukrainia-Ruthenia, countess di Fonzo and dowager duchess of Durazzo.

As late as 1985, Mr. Conde claimed to have in his possession the postal archives of the Mutawakelite Kingdom of Yemen and Yemeni civil war diaries.

Linn's Stamp News - January 4, 1993

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