1954-01-14

Crash site Rome/Ciampino airport, Italy 
Airline Philippine Airlines 
Aircraft Douglas DC-6  –  PI-C294 
Route Manila  –  Bangkok  –  Karachi  –  Beirut  –  Rome  –  Zürich  –  Hamburg  –  London 
Crew 9  –  0 survivors 
Passengers 7  –  0 survivors 

 

The crash

After a stop at Beirut the the plane continued to Rome/Ciampino airport. While approaching the airport at 6500 feet the two starboard engines caught fire making it impossible for the pilot to control the plane. He tried to make a forced landing in a field but the plane exploded while still some 60 feet in the air. At 11:50 the plane crashed 6 km east of the airport.

 

The mail

A part of the mail could be salvaged and it was processed by the Italian Post at Rome, where a handstamp + a datestamp was used (type G + H). These handstamps are found on all the mail from this crash. The British Postmaster General announced that the salvaged mail had arrived in London four days after the crash.
Most of the mail for the Nordic countries was sent via Germany. I have seen one item which was forwarded via Great Britain where different handstamps were in use.
The Nordic countries used different labels when forwarding the mail to the recipients.

 

I have recorded 15 items addressed to a Nordic country:

 

To Denmark

To Finland

To Norway

To Sweden

Hong Kong

2

 

1

1

Philippines

1

1

1

4

Taiwan

1

 

1

2

 

 

19540114 AA.
Danish label.
Size textblock:  85 x 31 mm.

 

Translation:
Damaged in the Philippine airplane crash on 14 January 1954.
Sorting Post Office, Copenhagen.

 

 

 

19540114 CC.
Finnish label.
w/violet oval handstamp.
Size textblock:  ?

 

Translation:
The following letter has been damaged in a plane crash in Rome on 14.1.1954.

 

 

 

19540114 DD.
Norwegian label.
Size textblock:  137 x 33 mm.

 

Translation:
Enclosed letter, received from Mailand today, was damaged in P.A.L. airplane crash in Rome on 14/ 1954.
Oslo Post Office / Dep. for travel service, 4 February 1954.

 

 

 

19540114 EE.
Norwegian label.
Size textblock:  170 x 43 mm.

 

Translation:
Damaged airmail. The enclosed letter that was sent by a plane belonging Philippine Airlines has been damaged because the plane crashed outside Rome on 14 Januar this year.
A part of the mail was salvaged and sent forward through the British Post.
Oslo Post Office, 10 February 1954.

 

 

 

19540114 F-aF-a.
Swedish label.
Size textblock:  84 x 20 mm.
Comma after Italien.

Translation:
Enclosed item has been damaged in plane crash in Rome, Italy, on 14.1.1954.

 

 

 

 

19540114 F-bF-b.
Swedish label.
Size textblock:  82 x 20 mm.
No comma after Italien.

Translation:
Enclosed item has been damaged in plane crash in Rome, Italy, on 14.1.1954.

 

 

 

 

19540114 GG.
Italian handstamp.
Black.
Size:  72 x 8 mm.
Used in combination with H and found on all mail from this crash.
Translation: Correspondence recovered after plane crash of
This handstamp was also used on mail from the Italy crashes 1954-01-10 and 1954-04-08.

 

 

 

19540114 HH.
Italian handstamp.
Black.
Size:  26 x 4 mm.
Used in combination with G.
14 GEN 1954 = 14 JAN 1954.

 

 

 

19540114 II.
British handstamp.
Black.
Size:  56 x 13 mm.

 

DAMAGED IN PAL-AIRCRAFT CRASH.

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

19540114 001b 19540114 001a

Cover from Hong Kong postmarked HONG KONG  12 JAN 1954 to Roskilde, Denmark. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Danish crash label type A. The damaged cover was forwarded in a Danish service cover model J.6 (2-50).
Thiesen Collection.

19540114 010a 19540114 010b

Cover from the Philippines postmarked MANILA and addressed to Copenhagen, Denmark. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Danish crash label type A.

19540114 009a 19540114 009b

Cover from Taiwan postmarked TAIPEI 11.1.54 to Kalundborg, Denmark. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Danish crash label type A.
Slettebø Collection.

19540114 030a 19540114 030b 

Cover from the Philippines postmarked MANILA  JAN 11 1954 to Helsingfors, Finland. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Finnish crash label type C.
Ala-Honkola Collection.

19540114 050a 19540114 050c 

Cover from Hong Kong postmarked HONG KONG C  12 JAN 1954 to Stavanger, Norway. Italian handstamp type G + H and Norwegian label type D.
Slettebø Collection.

19540114 051a 19540114 051b

Cover from the Philippines postmarked MANILA JAN 10 1954 to Oslo Norway. Italian handstamp type G + H and Norwegian label type D.
Slettebø Collection.

19540114 003a  

Cover from Taiwan postmarked TAIPEI  8.1.54 to Oslo, Norway. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and British crash handstamp type I. No Nordic crash markings.
Thiesen Collection.

19540114 005a 19540114 005b

Cover from the Philippines postmarked MANILA  JAN 11 1954 to Stockholm, Sweden. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Swedish crash label type F-a.
Thiesen Collection.  

19540114 004a 19540114 004b

Cover from Taiwan with postmark all in Chineese lettering and sent to Stockholm, Sweden. Italian crash handstamps type G + H and Swedish crash label type F-b.
Thiesen Collection.