Crash site Alor Star airfield, Kedah, Malaya
Airline Australian National Airways
Aircraft Avro Ten  –  VH-UNA  –  Southern Sun
Route Hobart, Australia  –  Croydon, England (several stops on the way)
Crew 3  –  3 survivors
Passengers 1  –  1 survivor


The crash

In October 1931 it was announced that a special airmail flight with Christmas mail from Australia to England would take place.


Map of the route.


The plane took off from Hobart, Australia on 19 November. In the early morning of 26 November at 07:00 the plane landed at Alor Star, Kedah, Malaya. After refueling for the next long leg to Rangoon via Mergui the pilot attempted to take off from the rain-soaked airfield. The undercarriage was damaged as it struck an embankment on the boundary of the airfield and skidded to a stop on its nose.

On 5 December the plane “Southern Star” with pilot Kingsford Smith arrived at Alor Star airfield. This plane continued the rest of the trip and landed in London/Croydon 16 December.


The mail

On board there was mail from Australia and New Zealand. When leaving Darwin the plane carried 650 kg. mail (54.530 items). A few items were picked up at the stops under way.

Special souvenir covers and a special violet cachet were used to mark the mail.

After arrival in London the mail was taken to the London GPO from where it was forwarded to the final destinations.
Only one Nordic item is known.





Examples of mail

Cover from Australia postmarked MELBOURNE SHIP ROOM 19 NO 31 and machine cancellation MELBOURNE 20 NOV 1931. The cover is addressed to Langesund, Norway.
The recipient wrote an explation about the crash on the back of the cover inc. arrival date 6/12 – 31.
It is a mystery why the cover shows clear traces of fire in the lower right corner as there was never any fire on board the plane. Perhaps a collector tried to make it more fancy ?
Unknown Collection.