1944-04-21

Crash site Fredrikstad, Norway
Airline Deutsche Lufthansa
Aircraft Douglas DC-3  –  D-AAIG
Route Berlin  –  Copenhagen/Kastrup  –  Oslo
Crew 3  –  0 survivors
Passengers 17  –  11 survivors

 

The crash

During World War II regular services both within and to/from the occupied Norway were operated by the German company Deutsche Lufthana. During this period the company sometimes used planes “borrowed” from occupied countries. One of these was a DC-3 belonging to the Czech company Ceskoslovenska Letecká Spolecnost (reg.no. OK-AIG) which from 24 July 1940 served for Deutsche Lufthansa as D-AAIG.
On 21 April 1944 the plane was flying up Oslofjord on its trip from Berlin via Copenhagen when a signal cartridge exploded in the cockpit and started a fire. The pilot decided to make an emergency landing in the sea near Vesterøy just outside of Fredrikstad, Norway. The plane sank shortly after hitting the water.

 

The mail

The plane carried mail from Europe to Norway. I have only recorded 10 items from this crash which could indicate that only a small part of the mail was salvaged.
So far I have recorded mail from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.
The salvaged mail was brought to the Oslo Post Office, where it was forwarded to the recipients with a label.

 

The Oslo Post Office produced labels to be used with mail that was forwarded to the recipients. The labels explain that the mail was damaged in an air crash.
The size of the labels vary as they were printed on large size paper and later cut from the sheets.
I have recorded 4 different labels.

 

 

A-a.19440421 A-a
Size textblock: 77 x 38 mm.

 

Translation:
Enclosed letter is damaged in air crash.

 

 

 

 

A-b.19440421 A-b
Size textblock: 77 x 38 mm.
As above, but budafdelingen with small “b and comma after postkontor.

 

 

 

 

 

19440421 A-cA-c.
Size textblock: 77 x 38 mm.
As above, but no comma after
postkontor

 

 

 

 

 

B.19440421 B
Size textblock: 77 x 38 mm.

 

Translation:
Attached letter is damaged in air crash.

 

 

 

 

C.19440421 C
Size textblock: 42 x 38 mm.

 

Translation:
Water damaged after air crash.

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19440421 001a 19440421 001b

Large size cover from Belgium with illegible postmark of ANTWERPEN. The stamps had floated off, but one stamp is glued onto the cover again. Forwarded with label A-b.
Thiesen Collection.

19440421 010a  

Registered cover from Lübeck, Germany to Oslo. Due to the water damage the stamps are missing and the registration label and airmail label are attached with a paperclip. The cover was forwarded in a glassine service cover together with label C with date 3/5-44.

19440421 014a 19440421 014b

Cover from Germany with red metermark and postmark of NÜRNBERG 23  14 4 44 addressed to Fredrikstad, Norway. Forwarded in Norwegian service cover type Nr. 16 and crash label A-a.
Arveng Collection.

19440421 021a 19440421 021b

Cover from Germany postmarked BERLIN 13.4.44 to Oslo, Norway. Forwarded in Norwegian service cover type Nr. 16 together with crash label A-a.
Utne Collection.

19440421 020a 19440421 020b

Cover from Germany postmarked LÜBECK 17.4.44 to Oslo. Stamps floated off. On the back is an arrival postmark OSLO BR -6.5.44.
Slettebø Collection.

19440421 016a 19440421 016b

Cover sent as Printed Matter from Germany with roller postmark BERLIN W 8  19.4.44 to Farsund, Norway. Forwarded in Norwegian service cover type Nr. 16 together with crash label A-c.
Arveng Collection. 

19440421 040a  

Registered cover from Hungary postmarked Budapest and addressed to Stavanger. The cover is watersoaked but still has all the stamps. Forwarded with label A-b.
Thomassen Collection.

19440421 061a 19440421 061b
19440421 062a 19440421 062b
19440421 061c  

The sender of these postscards sent two cards to the same person in Norway on 12 April and 14 April.
The cards are postmarked GRONINGEN 12 IV and 14 IV, but both cards were on board the crashed airplane. The cards were forwarded to the addressee with a label type B and probably in a Norwegian service cover.
Slettebø Collection.

19440421 008a 19440421 008d

Postcard from Portugal postmarked LISBOA  5.4.44 addressed to Trondheim, Norway. Forwarded in Norwegian service cover type Nr. 16 together with crash label B.
Thiesen Collection.