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 Rome/Ciampino airport in very bad weather. As the plane neared Greece the weather forced the pilot to deviate from the planned route, and after a while he lost the orientation. The Greek air controllers remained silent to his Mayday, believing that the airplane from Communist Czechoslovakia was intending to drop weapons to the local communist rebels. The rebels hearing the plane in the skies above them assumed that the flight was intended for them, hurried to light flares signalling the landing area for parachutes on a ridge which they controlled. The pilot mistook the flares for an air strip which he could use for emergency landing. As he descended, a hill suddenly rose up in front of the plane and he could not climb in time and crashed into the slope. The plane crashed at 15:00 in the Taygetos mountains south-east of Kalamata city.
Some sources state that the plane was shot down by the communist rebels, but this is not correct.


The mail

Very little mail survived the crash. 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 in known – a cover from Norway to Palestine.



A.19481221 A
Czech label with text
in French language.
Size:   ?

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

19481221 001a 19481221 001b 

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.
Slettebø Collection.