1955-02-03

Crash site Monte Terminillo near Rieti, Italy
Airline Sabena
Aircraft Douglas DC-6  –  OO-SDB
Route Brussels  –  Rome  –  Kano, Nigeria  –  Leopoldville, Belgian Congo
Crew 8  –  0 survivors
Passengers 21  –  0 survivors

 

The crash

The plane departed from Brussels airport at 17:17 and first made contact with Rome/Ciampino airport at 19.29. The last contact was at 19:53 when communication was cut off as the plane hit the slope of a mountain.
The search for the missing plane started immediately, but due to the poor visibility in the area, the plane was not found until the 21st February. The next day the first rescue workers arrived at the crash site.
The reason for the crash was severe storm together with faulty navigation and a crew which were unfamiliar to the terrain.

 

The mail

At least some of the mail was recovered and brought to Rome for further processing.
The mail came from United States and northern Europe.
According to Nierinck a small amount of mail was to Belgian troops in Korea. This arrived too late and was returned to Belgium through the Japanese postal services. Postmark: AMF / 26.VI.55.
The only Nordic item so far recorded is a cover from Denmark.

 

 

 

 

A.
Italian handstamp.
Violet.
Size:  80 x 23 mm.
Date with small handstamp.

Translation:
Mail Rome Air Station
Correspondence recovered from the airplane disaster of ___

 

 

 

 

Examples of mail

Registered cover from Denmark with metermark KØBENHAVN 11.2.55 to Belgian Congo with crash handstamp type A. On the back is arrival postmarks of LEOPOLDVILLE 14-3-55 and MATADI 15-3-55.
Thiesen Collection.