1947-08-23

Crash site Bahrain Marine Air Base, Bahrain
Airline BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) 
Aircraft Short S.25 Sandringham  –  G-AHZB  –  Portland 
Route Hong Kong  –  Karachi  –  Bahrain  –  London/Poole 
Crew 8  –  5 survivors 
Passengers 18  –  11 survivors 

 

The crash

The flying boat crashed into the sea while attempting to land at Bahrain Marine Air Base in the Persian Gulf. When the plane touched the water the captain eased the control column back to counteract a nose down tendency. The aircraft left the water for 1-2 seconds during which time engine power was added. It touched down again smoothly, but suddenly swung violently to the left. According to the investigators, the captain had employed an incorrect technique for approaching and alighting.

 

The mail

The plane carried mail from different countries in Central and East Asia (Burma, Hong Kong India, Japan, Thailand. Only a part of the mail could be salvaged. According to the Swedish label (see below) some mail was first salvaged the following year. The recovered mail was forwarded via England as well as via France.
I have recorded 4 items sent to Denmark or Sweden – all 4 are shown below.

 

A.
Swedish label.19470823 A
Size textblock: ?

Translation:
This item was on board an airplane which crashed in the Persian Gulf last year, and later mailbags were salvaged by the British Navy.

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19470823 010a 19470823 010b

Cover from Thailand postmarked BANGKOK 18.8.47 to Copenhagen. Forwarded via France with French framed handstamp    RETARDÉ / par suite d’Accident / d’Aviation (Delayed due to aircraft accident).
Slettebø Collection.  

19470823 002a  

Cover from India with illegible postmark and addressed to Alingsås, Sweden. This cover was forwarded via England where the framed handstamp DAMAGED BY SEA-WATER was used.

19470823 040a  

Cover from Thailand postmarked BANGKOK 19.8.47 to Hedemora, Sweden. Forwarded via France with French framed handstamp  RETARDÉ / par suite d’Accident / d’Aviation (Delayed due to aircraft accident).
Ekenstierna Collection.

19470823 001a 19470823 001b

Registered cover from Thailand with illegible postmark of Bangkok addressed to Säffle, Sweden. The damaged cover is glued onto a British Official mail cover. The cover was forwarded to Sweden in 1948 with Swedish crash label type A.
Ekenstierna Collection.