1934-07-06

Crash site Älmhult, Sweden
Airline ABA (AB Aerotransport)
Aircraft Northrop Delta 1E – SE-ADW – Småland
Route Stockholm/Barkarby – Malmö – Hannover
Crew 2 – 2 survivors
Passengers 0

 

The crash

In 1934 ABA bought a new and very modern American Northrop “Gamma” airplane which was specially designed for transport of mail. It was to be used on the night airmail route Stockholm-Hannover.
On the evening of 6 July 1934 the plane left Stockholm on its first flight. As on most “first flights” the pilot was ABA’s chief-pilot Karl Gunnar Lindner. On board were also a radio operator and a mechanic. Shortly after takeoff the plane began to vibrate. The pilot decided to land on the Malmslätt airfield to check the plane. As no problems were found the plane took off again. The mechanic stayed at the airfield. About 400 km from Stockholm the vibrations increased so much that the plane was impossible to control. Lindner and his radio operator jumped by parachute. The plane crashed and burst into flames.

 

The mail

On board the plane was 170 kg of mail, most of which was badly burned. Postal employees soon arrived at the crash site to pick up the mail which was quickly brought to Malmö.
The mail came from Finland and Sweden and was destined for Denmark and other European countries.
Number of items in my records:

  From Finland From Sweden
Denmark 0 6
Belgium 1 0
Czechoslovakia 1 0
France 4 4
Germany 12 17
Great Britain 12 14
Netherlands 4 2
Spain 0 1
Switzerland 4 2

 

A.
The Swedish Southern Postal District in Malmö produced labels to be used with mail that was forwarded to the recipients. The text was in French language and can be translated to “Malmö 7 July 1934. / This item has been damaged as a result of an airplane accident between Stockholm and Malmö the 6 this month. The Postal Direction Southern District.”.
The size of the labels vary as they were printed on large size paper and later cut from the sheets. Size usually around 111 x 46 mm.
Even if the text is the same I have recorded 5 variations in the arranging of the text:

 

A-a.19340706 A-a
Size textblock: 88 x 31 mm.
Last line = du District……
Last line starts under the
space between La Direction.

 

 

 

A-b.19340706 A-b
Size textblock: 88 x 31 mm.
Last line = du District……
Last line starts under the
a in La Direction.
Also typewriter error in
“i” in incendie.

 

 

 

A-c.19340706 A-c
Size textblock: 88 x 31 mm.
Last line = District du……
First line starts above
C in Cet.

 

 

 

A-d.19340706 A-d
Size textblock: 88 x 31 mm.
Last line = District du……
First line starts above
e in Cet.
Also typewriter error in
“c” in courant.

 

 

A-e.
Size textblock: ?.
Last line = District du……
In many ways a strange
varation.
Only one example known.

 

 

 

B.
The Swedish G.P.O. Complaint Office in Stockholm produced labels to be used with mail that was in such damaged condition that the item was returned to the sender. The text was in Swedish language and can be translated to “This item has been damaged in the crash of the mail airplane Småland near Älmhult on 6 July 1934″.
The size of the labels vary as they were printed on large size paper and later cut from the sheets.
Even if the text is the same I have recorded 3 variations of this label:

 

19340706 B-a
B-a.
Size textblock ?

First line break after skadats

 

 

 

 

19340706 B-b

 

B-b.
Size textblock: 89 x 49 mm

First line break after vid.
Point after Reklamationskontor.

 

 

 

19340706 B-c
B-c.
Size textblock: ?

First line break after vid.
No point after Reklamationskontor
Numbers in different font type.

 

 

 

 

C.
The Finnish Post and Telegraph Complaint Office produced a label to be used with mail that was in such damaged condition that it was returned from Sweden and had to be returned to the sender. The text was in Finnish and Swedish language and can be translated to “The enclosed item has been damaged in the air crash between Stockholm and Malmö on 6 July 1934”.
The labels are printed in very good quality. Size: 152 x 85 mm.

 19340706 C-a

 

D.19340706 D

Finnish explanation letter.

The only such example that I have seen.
Used with a registered letter returned to the sender in Hangö.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19340706 016a 19340706 016c

Much charred picture postcard from Finland postmarked HELSINKI -5 VII 34 to Belgium with Swedish label type A-c.
Thiesen collection.

19340706 003a 19340706 003b

Cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI -5 VII 34 to Paris, France with Swedish label type A-d.
The cover was forwarded in a neutral glassine service cover (size: 175 x 135 mm) with an arrival postmark PARIS 9 VII 1934.
Thiesen Collection.

19340706-004a 19340706-004b
19340706-004c 19340706-004d
 
19340706 057a 19340706 057b
19340706 057c 19340706 057d

Registered cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS -5. VII. 34 addressed to a bank in Paris, France. The charred cover was forwarded to Paris in a Swedish service cover postmarked MALMÖ 1  7.7.34 and with Swedish label type A-a on the back.
With this cover follow a label type C. This Finnish label was used with mail that was returned to the sender in Finland, but this cover was not returned to Finland. Therefore I do not think the label belong together with this cover.
Aloni Collection.

19340706 005a 19340706 005b

Registered cover from Finland postmarked “TURKU * ÅBO -6 VII 34” to Bremen, Germany with Swedish label type A-d.
Thiesen Collection.

19340706 060a 19340706 060b

Cover from Finland postmarked ÅBO 6 VII 34 to Hamburg, Germany. The cover was badly damaged, so it was returned to the sender with the Finnish label type C.
Ala-Honkola collection.

19340706 066a

19340706 066b

Registered cover from Hangö/Hanko, Finland to Hamburg, Germany. Due to the damage the cover was returned to the sender with an explanation letter type D from the Finnish Post. 

19340706 049a 19340706 049b

Much charred picture postcard from Finland postmarked VIIPURI 2 -5 VII 34. To London. The postcard was forwarded with a Swedish label type A-d in a neutral glassine service cover.

19340706 032a 19340706 032b

Cover from Finland postmarked PORI  -5 VII 34 to London, England. Forwarded with label type A-c.
Ekenstierna collection.

19340706 050a  
19340706 050b 19340706 050c

Registered cover from Helsinki, Finland to London. The Swedish Post in Malmö forwarded the damaged cover in a service cover with a new Malmö 1 registration label. The cover was sealed on the back with the Swedish label type A-b.

19340706 070a  

Cover from Helsinki, Finland to Amsterdam, Netherlands with Swedish label type A-d.
Kauppi collection.

 
19340706 110a 19340706 110b

Postcard from Sweden metermarked STOCKHOLM 6 VII 34 to Copenhagen, Denmark. The card was forwarded in a neutral glassine service cover together with the Swedish label type A-c.

19340706 011a 19340706 011b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 6.7.34 to Germany with Swedish label type A-d. The cover was forwarded in a neutral glassine service cover. Franked with 30 øre = air mail rate.
Thiesen collection.

19340706 158a 19340706 158b

Postcard from Sweden postmarked EKERÖ 6.7.34 to Berlin, Germany with label type A-a.
Slettebø collection.

19340706 165a 19340706 165c
19340706 165d 19340706 165e

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM  6.7.34 to Berlin, Germany. The cover was so much damaged that it was returned to the sender with label type B-a in an unusual service cover, which was backstamped STOCKHOLM 25.7.34.
Slettebø collection.

27.Auktion

27.Auktion

Swedish service cover postmarked with faint postmark MALMÖ 1 * LUFTPOST * and addressed to Frankfurt/M, Germany. On the back the cover is sealed with the Swedish label type A-d and thre are also two arrival postmarks of Frankfurt.

19340706 135a 19340706 135c

Postal stationery card from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 6.7.34 to London. Swedish label type A-b.
Slettebø collection.

19340706 008a 19340706 008b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 6.7.34 to London with Swedish label type A-b. The cover was forwarded in a neutral glassine service cover. Franked with 25 øre = surface mail.
Thiesen collection.

19340706 139a 19340706 139b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 1 6.7.34 to Widnes, England. The cover was in too damaged condition and was returned to the sender with the Swedish label type B-c.
Ruud collection.

19340706 170a 19340706 170b

Much charred cover from Sweden to the Netherlands. Due to the damage the cover was returned to the sender with the Swedish label type B-c.

19340706 010a

 
19340706 010b 19340706 010c

Registered cover from Stockholm, Sweden to London. The Swedish Post in Malmö forwarded the damaged cover in a service cover with a new Malmö 1 registration label. The cover was sealed on the back with the Swedish label type A-a.
Thiesen collection.

19340706 179a 19340706 179b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 6.7.34 and addressed to Madrid, Spain (unusual destination). The cover was forwarded with Swedish label type A-d.

19340706 014a 19340706 014b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 16 6.7.34 sent to St. Gallen, Switzerland with Swedish label type A-d. The cover was not intended for airmail transport and therefore only franked with 25 øre.
Thiesen collection.

19340706 180a 19340706 180b

Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 1 6.7.34 sent to Basel, Switzerland with Swedish label type A-b.

19340706 012a 19340706 012b
19340706 012c  

Window envelope to unknown destination postmarked STOCKHOLM 6.7.34. As the cover was much damaged it was returned to the sender in an unusual service cover postmarked STOCKHOLM 1 24.7.34 together with the label type B-b.
Thiesen collection.