Collecting Air Crash Covers

Program 7 of a series sponsored by The American Air Mail Society
An Affiliate of The American Philatelic Society

Copyright 2010

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Collecting Air Crash Covers
By Ken Sanford

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What is an Air Crash Cover?
‡ Crash ± Incomplete flight due to aircraft accident resulting in damage to or destruction of the aircraft, with mails (if not lost or destroyed) forwarded by other aircraft or other means (sometimes referred to as ³recovered mail´ or ³salvaged mail´). ‡ Interrupted Flight ± A flight which is interrupted or delayed en route, resulting in an unscheduled or forced landing, usually due to adverse weather conditions or an aircraft mechanical problem. Flight continued later by the same aircraft, or to expedite mail, another aircraft.
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Earliest Air Crash Covers

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Paris balloon crash in Norway ³Ville d¶Orleans´ ± November 1870

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Earliest Regular Air Mail Service Crash
U.S. Government Air Mail Service ± 1918

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Interesting Cachets
Early U.S. Post Office Cachets

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Interesting Cachets
Post Office Notice

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Interesting Cachets
Postmaster manuscript ± Rubber Stamp

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Collecting by Airline

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Earliest Airline Service Crashes
Air Transport & Travel Ltd. Crashed at Eltham, Great Britain ± 22 August 1920

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Varney Air Lines
1st flight crash - Jordan Valley, Oregon - 6 April 26

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United Air Lines
Crash on the beach at Point Reyes, California ± 29 November 1938

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American Airlines
Crash at Goodwin, Arkansas ± 14 January 1936

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Pan American Airways
Crash in Gulf of Mexico ± 15 August 1928

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Collecting by Continent

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South America
SCADTA crash in Colombia ± 16 May 1929

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SCADTA crash in Colombia ± 16 May 1929 Explanation of the condition of the mail

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Africa
Imperial Airways ³Corsair´ flying boat Crash in Belgian Congo ± March 1939

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Collecting by Aircraft Type

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Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-40
³American Clipper´ ± Barranquilla, Colombia

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Imperial Airways - Short S23 Flying Boat Crashed in Lake Habbaniyah, Iraq ± 27 Nov. 38

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BOAC ± Boeing 707 Crashed at London, England ± 8 April 1968

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Imperial Airways Lockheed Electra Crash at Luxeuil, France ± 11 August 1939

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Gordon Bennett Balloon Race Crash ± 4 May 1985

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Military Mail Crashes

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U.S. Army Emergency Airmail Service Crashed at Greenville, South Carolina ± Feb. 1934

Autographed by pilot
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U.S. Military Flight Crash in Pacific - November 1944

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Collecting by Stamp

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Western Air Express crash at Alhambra, Calif. 22 December 1930 ± with beacon stamp

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Pacific Air Transport Crash Burbank, California 16 May 1932 ± 5 cent Winged-Globe stamp

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Collecting by Country

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India
Imperial Airways Flying Boat ³Centurion´ Crash at Calcutta, India ± 12 June 1939

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Portugal
Pan American Airways ³Yankee Clipper´ Crash at Lisbon, Portugal ± 22 February 1943

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Trans Oceanic Record Flight Crashes
Alcock & Brown Crash ± Ireland - 1919

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Pilot Autographed Crash Covers

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Imperial Airways ³Artemis´ Crash ± 10 Feb. 1936
Pietersburg, South Africa ± pilot autograph

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Schlessinger Air Race - Cover carried & autographed by A.E. Clouston, who crashed at Felixburgh, Southern Rhodesia ± 30 Sep. 1936

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AIRCRAFT SHOT DOWN

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Imperial Airways ³Dardanus´ - Shot down by Japanese fighters over Waichow Island ± Nov 1939

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El Al Israel Airlines ± Lockheed Constellation Shot down by Bulgarian fighter over Tsirbanova, Bulgaria ± 27 July 1955

Z. Aloni collection

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CRASHES INVOLVING TERRORISM

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British Airways ± Vickers VC-10 ± Hijacked by Muslim terrorists at Dubai ± 21 November 1974

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Pan American World Airways ± Boeing 747 Blown up by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland ± 21 December 1988

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Famous Crashes
German Zeppelin ³Hindenburg´ ± Crashes at Lakehurst, NJ ± 6 May 1937

Postcard from National Postal Museum in Washington

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Counterfeit Air Crash Covers

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Counterfeit ³Hindenburg´ Crash Cover

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Cachet Unknown on U.S. Domestic Crash Covers

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Crash which supposedly happened at Berry Islands, Bahamas

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³Ambulance´ Covers
From crash of National Air Transport aircraft 20 December 1928

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Unidentifiable Air Crash Covers

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Cover from World War 2 Crash which is unrecorded and can¶t be identified

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Cover from U.S. Army accident which is unrecorded and can¶t be identified

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Air Crash Cover References

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The American Air Mail Catalogue 6th Edition Volume One ± Interrupted Flights Section

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Recovered Mail ± Volumes 1 & 2 by Henri Nierinck

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Crash Covers, An Aerophilatelic Challenge By Joseph L. Eisendrath

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The Australian Air Mail Catalogue ± 8th Edition

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Irish Crash Airmails ± by Ronny Vogt

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World Directory of Airliner Crashes By Terry Denham

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Wreck & Crash Mail Society Quarterly Journal
http://wreckandcrash.org

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Hindenburg Crash Mail, by Arthur Falk

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American Air Mail Society
http://www.americanairmailsociety.org

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British Air Mail Society http://www.britishairmailsociety.co.uk/

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Other Major Aerophilatelic Societies
Australian Air Mail Society Canadian Aerophilatelic Society Air Mail Society of New Zealand Aerophilatelic Society of Southern Africa Irish Air Mail Society Metropolitan Airpost Society

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Crash Covers Sources
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Auction Houses Stamp Show Dealers eBay Trading with Other Collectors

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Credits
‡ Material Sources: Ken Sanford, U.S. National Postal Museum, National Library of Australia, and Z. Aloni, ‡ Presentation : Ken Sanford ‡ Edited by: Alan P. Bentz ‡ Narration by: Arthur A. Pignataro

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This has been a presentation by the American Air Mail Society.
This, and other aerophilatelic programs of the American Air Mail Society, can be obtained from the American Philatelic Society at: www.stamps.org/directories/dir_slideform.htm For further information on the AAMS go to the Website: www.AmericanAirMailSociety.org

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