1941-11-07

Crash site Turku, Finland
Airline Aero O/Y
Aircraft Junkers Ju 52  –  OH-LAK  –  Sampo
Route Helsinki  –  Turku  –  Stockholm/Bromma
Crew 2  –  2 survivors
Passengers 14  –  12 survivors

 

The crash

Shortly after take off from Turku airport the crew encountered engine problems and all three engines soon stopped. The pilot had to make an emergency landing in the sea in the archipelago west of Turku. Two elderly passengers drowned as they were unable to get out of the plane.

The reason for the crash was use of poor quality fuel which blocked the fuel filters.

This plane was salvaged and after repair it returned to service until it crashed again on 31 October 1945 (see here).

 

The mail

On board the plane was a large load of mail destined for Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. Most of the mail came from Finland and East Karelia.

Number of items in my records:

  From Finland From East Karelia From Hungary
Denmark 9    
Norway 1   1
Sweden 32 9  
Germany 2    
Netherlands 3    
Switzerland 3    
U.S.A. 2    
Unknown 2    

All the mail was salvaged and it took almost a week until the last mail was brought ashore. The mail was transported to the Turku/Åbo post office where it was dried and sorted. Due to the long submersion in water stamps had often fallen off. The postal workers tried to glue the loose stamps on to the covers again, but very often it was not the correct stamp which was put in place (see examples below).
The Finnish Post produced a special trilingual (Finnish, Swedish, French) handstamp which was used on all the recovered mail. On damaged mail which needed repair different resealing labels were used. These were also with trilingual text.
No special foreign crash markings for this crash have been recorded. On some covers addressed to Denmark, Sweden and Germany a small handstamp with reference to missing stamps is known (see examples below).

 

 

A.
Finnish handstamp.19411107 A
 Violet (shades).
Size: 81 x 11½ mm.
Text translation:
Item damaged in air crash.

 

B.
Finnish resealing label.19411107 B
Black printing on white paper.
Size: 45 x 45 mm.
Often used in pair of two labels + handstamp  A.

 Recorded with postmark:
TURKU AVION ÅBO  13.XI.41 – 17.XI.41

 

 

C-a.19411107 C-a
Finnish resealing label.
Black printing on green paper.
Size: 140 x 65 mm.

 Recorded with postmark:
TURKU ÅBO 15.XI.41

 

 

 

C-b.19411107 C-b
Finnish resealing label.
Black printing on green paper.
Size: 140 x 65 mm.
As C-a but bold font.

 Recorded with postmark:
TURKU ÅBO  18.XI.41 – 19.XI.41

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19411107 001a 19411107 001b

Cover from Finland with machine cancellation HELSINGFORS 6.XI.41 and addressed to Copenhagen, Denmark. On front is the crash handstamp type A and a weak Finnish censor handstamp. Danish censorship on the back.
Thiesen Collection.

19411107 025a 19411107 025b

Registered cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS 5.XI.41 and addressed to Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the few covers without the Finnish crash handstamp type A. On the back there are 3 general Danish resealing labels (type A.61). Finnish censorship on front and back and Danish censorship on the back.
Ala-Honkola Collection.

19411107 016a 19411107 016b

Express cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS 6.XI.41 and addressed to Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the few covers without the Finnish crash handstamp type A. In the upper right corner is a Danish handstamp (Arrived without stamp). The framed handstamp on the front refer to Air Mail service Europe-United States and is struck on this cover by mistake. On the back there is an arrival postmark 17.11.44 and Danish censorship.
Urbak Collection.

19411107 018a 19411107 018b

Cover from Finland with metermark HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS 6.11.41 addressed to Bergen, Norway. On front is the crash handstamp type A. On the back is an arrival machine postmark of BERGEN 26.11.41 and also German censorship (O = Oslo).
Svein Arne Hansen Collection.

19411107 003a 19411107 003b

Cover from Finland postmarked PETALAKS 27-X-41 addressed to Hälsingborg, Sweden. Finnish crash handstamp type A and weak censor handstamps on front and back.
Thiesen Collection.

19411107 040a 19411107 040b

Registered cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS  6.XI.41 addressed to Umeå, Sweden. Finnish crash handstamp type A on front and back. Also resealing label type B. Finnish censor label at one side.

   
19411107 002a 19411107 002b

Registered cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS  6.XI.41 addressed to Stugun, Sweden. Finnish crash handstamp type A and weak censor handstamp on front. Also a small Swedish framed handstamp (Frimärke saknas = Stamp missing).
Thiesen Collection.

19411107 004a 19411107 004b

Cover from Finland postmarked LOVISA  6.XI.41 addressed to Malmö, Sweden. Finnish crash handstamp type A on front and back. Also resealing labels type B (17.XI.) and C-b (19.XI.). Finnish censor handstamp on the front. Note the stamps which were not originally on this cover.
Thiesen Collection.

   
19411107 006a 19411107 006b

Cover from Finland postmarked TURKU/ÅBO  -6 XI 41 to Hamburg, Germany. On front is the crash handstamp type A and a Finnish censor handstamp. In the upper right corner is a German handstamp used by the censor office Auslandsbriefprüfstelle Berlin (Ohne Marken eingefangen = Arrived without stamps). On the back is German censorship from Berlin.
Thiesen Collection.

19411107 008a 19411107 008b

Cover from Finland postmarked HELSINKI/HELSINGFORS  -6 XI 41 to Amsterdam, Holland. On front is the crash handstamp type A and a Finnish censor handstamp. On the back is German censorship from Berlin.
Thiesen Collection.

19411107 255a 19411107 255b

Cover from Finland postmarked REPOSAARI  -5.11.41 to Amsterdam, Holland. On front is the crash handstamp type A and Finnish censor handstamp and label. On the back is German censorship from Berlin. Note that the upper stamp does not belong to this cover (different postmark). The two other stamps were probably originally placed in the upper right corner.
Ala-Honkola Collection.

19411107 261a 19411107 261b

Postcard from Finland with partly illegible postmark dated -6 XI 41 to Lausanne, Switzerland. On front is the crash handstamp type A and a Finnish censor handstamp. There are no signs of German censorship, but a censor has struck out much of the written message.
Ala-Honkola Collection.

19411107 009a 19411107 009b
Cover from Finland postmarked SEINÄJOKI  -5.XI.41 to U.S.A. with handstamp type A. The unclear framed handstamp with the text PAR SERVICE AERIEN TRANS-/ATLANTIQUE EUROPE-ETATS-UNIS refers to airmail service Europe-United States. Finnish censorship with both label and handstamps. Note the stamps which were not originally on this cover.
Thiesen Collection.
19411107 290a 19411107 290b

Cover from Finland postmarked NÄRPIÖ with illegible date U.S.A. with handstamp type A. The unclear framed handstamp with the text PAR SERVICE AERIEN TRANS-/ATLANTIQUE EUROPE-ETATS-UNIS refers to airmail service Europe-United States. Finnish censorship with both label and handstamps. Note the stamps and the airmail label which were not originally on this cover.
Slettebø Collection.

 

Since November 1939 Finland was at war against the Soviet Union. Around 8.000 men from Sweden voluntarily assisted the Finns in the fighting. These men had free postage and their mail was sent via the Finnish Fieldpost system. Most mail was postmarked at Field Post Office No 4 (KENTTÄPOSTIKONTTORI No 4). The mail should be marked Fältpost or Kenttäpostia.

 
19411107 007a 19411107 201a

Cover from Swede in Finnish Army postmarked -6 XI 41 and addressed to another military address in Sweden. Crash handstamp type A, two Field Post markings and Finnish censorship (label+handstamp).
Thiesen Collection.

Postcard from Swede in Finnish Army postmarked -6 XI 41 to Stockholm, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A, two Field Post markings and Finnish censor handstamp.

 

 

19411107 200a 19411107 200b

Another cover postmarked KENTTÄPOSTIKONTTORI  No 4   -6 XI 41 and addressed to Hälsingborg, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A and resealing labels type B and C-b. Also two field post markings and Finnish censorship (label+handstamp).

19411107 202a 19411107 202b

Special Finnish fieldpost lettersheet from Swede in Finnish Army postmarked KENTTÄPOSTIKONTTORI  No 4   -6 XI 41 and addressed to Halmstad, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A, two Field Post markings and Finnish censorship (label+handstamp).

19411107 367a 19411107 367b

Express cover from East Karelia postmarked AUNUS 3.XI.41 to Billesholms Gruva, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A and Finnish censor label and handstamp. Note the attempt to glue stamps onto the cover again.
Slettebø Collection.

19411107 010a 19411107 350a

Registered cover from East Karelia postmarked AUNUS -3. XI. 41 to Stockholm, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A and Finnish censor handstamp.
Thiesen Collection.

Large size registered cover from East Karelia postmarked AUNUS 3.XI.41 to Eskilstuna, Sweden. Crash handstamp type A and Finnish censor handstamp. Note the attempt to glue stamps on to the cover again.

19411107 390a 19411107 390b

Cover (Nyomtatvany = Printed matter) from Hungary postmarked BUDAPEST  941 OKT 25″ and addressed to Oslo, Norway. Finnish crash handstamp type A and resealing label type C-a postmarked 15.XI.41. On the back is a German censormark from Vienna. It is quite a mystery why this cover was routed via Finland.
Slettebø Collection.