1937-10-01

Crash site Phaleron Bay, Greece
Airline Imperial Airways
Aircraft Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat – G-ADVC – Courtier
Route Alexandria – Phaleron Bay – Southampton
Crew 5 – 5 survivors
Passengers 9 – 6 survivors

 

The crash

The flying boat “Courtier” was operating an additional flight with mail and passengers from India. The plane approached Phaleron Bay in the morning as planned, but the pilot failed to flatten out the plane which hit the water with great force. The hull was damaged and the plane sank in a few minutes. Rescue attempts were hampered by the propellers, as they continued to turn in the water.
Captain Poole later explained that the reflection of the sun on the still water of the bay, blinded him and he thought the aircraft was touching down on the water, when in fact, it was still 50 feet up.

 

The mail

All the mail was recovered in watersoaked condition, and many varieties of handstamps and labels are known.
The mail for the Nordic countries was forwarded via München, Germany where a handstamp and a resealing label was used. No Nordic crash markings has so far been recorded.

 

 

A.
German handstamp used in Munich.19371001 A
Violet.
Size: 91 x 12 mm.

 

 

B.19371001 B
German resealing label used in
Munich.
Type: B 35a V. 2 § 75. (10.29).
Size: 104 x 45 mm.

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19371001 010a 19371001 010b
Cover from Tel-Aviv, Palestine to Copenhagen, Denmark. German handstamp type A and label type B (postmarked MÜNCHEN 9.10.37). Arrival postmark KØBENHAVN 11.10.37.
Slettebø collection.
19371001 004a 19371001 004b
Cover from Palestine postmarked JERUSALEM 29 SP 37 to Turku, Finland. German handstamp type A and label type B (postmarked MÜNCHEN 12.10.37). Arrival postmark Turku/Åbo 13-X-.37.
Thiesen collection.
19371001 050a 19371001 050b
Cover from Egypt postmarked ALEXANDRIA 30.IX.37 to Aalesund, Norway. German handstamp type A and label type B (postmarked MÜNCHEN 9.10.37).