Crash site Argana, Morocco
Airline Air France
Aircraft Dewoitine D.338 – F-ARIC – Ville de Dakar
Route Dakar – Villa Cisneros – Agadir – Casablanca – Oran – Barcelona – Toulouse
Crew 3 – no surviviors
Passengers 6 – no survivors


The crash

The plane left Dakar at 06:00. At 15:30 the crew was informed of deteriorating weather and negative temperatures. A few minutes later the plane crashed on a mountain near Argana, 160 km southwest of Marrakech. Two hours after the last contact Air France sent out two search planes from Casablance – a Wibault 283 reg.no. F-ANBM and a Dewoitine D.338 reg.no.F-AQBO, but they were unable to locate the plane. The wreck of the plane was later found by a native in the Argana-Imin region.
The crash report concluded that the airplane was “victim of a sudden icing due to unpredictable weather conditions”.


The mail

A large part of the mail was recovered. A variety of crash markings are known from this crash – mostly of French origin (handstamps, service covers and manuscript notes).
I have only seen two covers with a Nordic relation (see below).



French handstamp.
Size: 80 x 8 mm.

General handstamp used in Paris on mail with minor damage.
Text translation:
General handstamp used in Paris on mail with minor damage.



French handstamp.
Size: 62 x 28 mm.

Text translation:
Correspondence delayed
by plane accident.
Please do not tax.



Examples of mail

Registered cover from Brazil with postmark dated 29 IV 1938 (year is an error –  should be 1939). The cover is addressed to Copenhagen, Denmark. On the front + back is the French handstamp type A and on the back is an oval arrival handstamp used in Copenhagen (KØBENHAVN K  7 – MAJ 39).
Thiesen Collection.

19390502 025a 19390502 025b

Cover from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with stamps missing and illegible postmark. The stamps have probably been torn off by a stamp collector. The cover is addressed to Lysekil, Sweden.
French service cover type No 827 with 4-line handstamp and postmark of the depot for damaged mail in Paris = DEPOT CENTRAL DES REBUTS PARIS 9 -5 39.
Private Collection.