Crash site Altenkirchen, Germany 
Airline British Airways 
Aircraft De Havilland DH.86 Express  –  G-ADEB  –  Diana 
Route Hanover  –  Cologne  –  London/Gatwick 
Crew 2  –  0 survivors 


The crash

The plane was on a nightly mail flight from Hanover to Cologne. Around 03:00 the plane crashed into a mountainside near Altenkirchen 50 km southeast of Cologne. The pilot Charles S. Gill survived the crash but died of his injuries on 17 August.


The mail

The plane was carrying mail sent from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Estonia. The reports from the crash site said that the mail was entirely destroyed in the crash. But it seems as if a few items were recovered afterwards. In my collection I have a cover from Norway (see below).
Both Hopkins and Nierinck mention a cover sent from Voss, Norway and postmarked on 10.8.36. The cover was forwarded in a service cover to the recipient in Whauphill, Wigtownshire, Scotland together with an explanatory letter from the London Postal Service, Mount Pleasant, London E.C.1. It is not known if this explanatory letter is the same as the one illustrated by Nierinck (see below).


19360812 AA.
Manuscipt note.

Illustrated by Nierinck.


Note it says Imperial Airways plane which is wrong.







Examples of mail


Registered cover from Tønsberg, Norway postmarked 10.VIII.36 and addressed to London. No special markings.
Thiesen Collection.