Crash site Taygetos mountains, Kalamata, Greece 
Airline CSA (Czechoslovak State Airlines) 
Aircraft Douglas C-47  –  OK-WDN 
Route Prague  –  Rome  –  Athens  –  Lydda, Palestine 
Crew 5  –  0 survivors 
Passengers 19  –  0 survivors 


The crash

The plane took off from Prague at 11:46 and later left Rome/Ciampino with a short delay. According to the plan the plane should follow a route crossing the Adriatic Sea and continue to Athens via the Corinthian Gulf. Presumably due to bad weather the captain decided to go towards the southern part of the Peloponnese without informing Athens. Gradually he apparently lost his orientation completely, reporting positions that were later judged to be impossible, he repeatedly asked for the position to be determined by Athens, he descended to about 1 km to get below the clouds. Athens’ radio signal was gradually lost. The last contact with the plane was at 17:40.
The plane then crashed in the Taygetos mountain range where it broke apart and caught fire. The crash site which was 15 km northeast of Kalamata was later located by a US military reconnaissance plane. Rescuers arrived at the scene under military protection on 23 December.
As the Greek Civil War was ongoing at the time, there was speculation that the plane had been shot down from the ground. But no evidence was ever found to confirm this hypothesis.


The mail

On board the plane was mail for Greece and Palestine. Very little mail survived the crash and so far I have only recorded mail to Palestine.
The salvaged mail was returned to Prague where the Post Office re-sealed the damaged items and added a specially printed label.
Only one Nordic item is known – a cover from Norway to Palestine.



Czech label with text
in French language.
Size of textblock:  94 x 18 mm.

This letter was found in the wreck of the aircraft (airline OK 584 PRAHA-LYDDA) which was brought down on the 21. XII 1948 near Calamata, Greece. Prague Post Office 120




Examples of mail

Cover from Norway with metermark BERGEN 18 12 48 addressed to Tel Aviv, Palestine. On the back is the label type A tied by two postmarks of PRAHA 120  27.1.49 and also an arrival postmark TEL AVIV  3  2  1949.
Thiesen Collection.