|Crash site||Eqalugaarsuit firth, Greenland|
|Crew||1 – 1 survivor|
|Passengers||1 – 1 survivor|
The US naval ship USNS Lindenwald (T-LSD-6) was in 1958 operating in the waters west of Greenland. She made supply runs to bases in northern Greenland and the Arctic (the so-called SEA LIFT FOR SECURITY / ARCTIC OPERATIONS 1958).
On August 3 one of her helicopters was returning to the ship with cargo and mail. At 14:30 it hit the stern gate of the ship and fell into the water and sank. The pilot and the ship´s purser were able to free themselves and swam to safety. The plane sank but was quickly raised by the ship’s personnel.
On board the helicopter were 5 bags with mail. The mail was recovered, dried out and distributed to the rightfull owners.
So far I have not seen any mail addressed to U.S. military personnel.
A part of the mail was philatelic mail forwarded by collectors to get the ship’s cachets. I have seen reference to 200 such covers. The covers were franked with U.S. stamps which were cancelled when the covers came back to United States (machine cancellation BOSTON / MASS. 21 / AUG 18 1958.
Some of the covers were endorsed by typewriter and signed by the purser James Vakshall, who was oboard the helicopter when it crashed.
Examples of mail