Crash site Kattegat, Denmark 
Airline Royal Danish Air Force 
Aircraft Douglas C-54D  –  N-605 
Route Værløse AB  –  Aalborg AB  –  Bodø AB, Norway  –  Keflavik, Iceland 
Crew 6  –  6 survivors 
Passengers 13  –  13 survivors 


The crash

On 8 November 1965 the plane was ready for a combined transport- and training flight to Greenland. The plane should not land on Greenland, but from Iceland the plane should fly up along the East coast of Greenland. Here mail and cargo should be dropped in parachutes at different places /stations – Daneborg, Danmarkshavn, Kap Tobin, Mesters Vig and Scoresbysund.
The plane took off from the Danish Air Base Værløse at 07:15. After 20 min the crew encountered problems with engine no. 4 and shortly afterwards smoke from one of the electric panel was observed. The crew decided to return to the base. A little later the three remaining engines also got problems, and the cabin was almost filled with smoke so it was difficult to read the instruments. As the plane was now close to the water surface the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in Kattegat 31 km northeast of the small island Hesselø. At 07:44 the plane landed on the water and the crew threw out the two rescue boats and left the plane. Very soon a fishing boat arrived at the crash site and picked up the 19 persons. The cabin was soon filled with water and 10 min later the plane sank to the bottom of the sea where it came to rest upside down 32 m below sea level. The fishing boat sailed the rescued men to Grenå harbour. From there they were transported to Tirstrup Air Base where two helicopters were ready to fly them back to the Værløse AB.
The wreck was to be salvaged by the Danish company Switzer Bjærgningsselskab A/S. A couple of attempts were made but without success. The wreck was finally lifted on 2 May 1966 and transported into Lynetten, Copenhagen the following day.
The crash investigators concluded that the motors set out due to a failure in the electrical system.


The mail

On board the plane was 816 kg mail (letters, postcards, printed matters etc, money orders and air mail packages up to 1 kg). Around 700 kg of the mail was packages. As mentioned above the mail was destined for Daneborg, Danmarkshavn, Kap Tobin, Mesters Vig and Scoresbysund along the east coast of Greenland. The mail should be dropped in parachutes.
On 10.11. Navy divers salvaged some of the mail bags. They were brought to the K.G.H. office in Copenhagen for drying and further examination. In general all the ordinary letters etc. was in such condition that they could be forwarded to the recipients, but the packages was too damaged, so they had to be returned to the senders. The next days more mail was salvaged and the last bags were brought ashore on 16.11. At that time only a very small portion of mail remained in the wreck in a section which the divers could not reach.
On 16.11. the salvaged mail was forwarded to Greenland via Iceland.
When the wreck was finally raised and brought into Copenhagen in early May 1966 the last portion of mail could be salvaged. At least some of these covers were forwarded to the recipients in Greenland mid-May 1966.




19651108 A-aA-a.
Greenlandic label.
Size textblock:  142 x 24 mm.
“8” is under “)”.
Large gap between text
and bottom line.


Text translation:
The attached letter(s) has been transported with aircraft which crashed 8. November 1965.          Greenland Post Office




19651108 A-bA-b.
Greenlandic label.
Size textblock:  144 x 20 mm.
“8” is under “r”.
Small gap between text
and bottom line.


Text translation:
The attached letter(s) has been transported with aircraft which crashed 8. November 1965.          Greenland Post Office




Examples of mail

19651108 001a 19651108 001c

Cover from Denmark with railway postmark KØBENHAVN – NYKØBING F.  4.11.1965 addressed to Danmarkshavn with crash label type A-b. The stamp had fallen off due to the stay in water. According to a note following the cover the recipient sent the cover to one of his friends on 16.12.1965.
Thiesen Collection.

19651108 010e 19651108 010b

Cover from Denmark postmarked SVENDBORG 27.10.65 addressed to Scoresbysund. The cover was forwarded with crash label type A-a. in a service cover type J 6 (10-62). According to a manuscript note at the back the cover was returned to the sender = retur Ulbølle.
Slettebø Collection.

19651108 005a 19651108 005c

Cover from Denmark without any visible postmark addressed to Scoresbysund. The postage stamp does not belong to this cover, but was attached by the postal authorities. The cover was forwarded to the recipient in a service cover type J 6 (10-62).
According to a note this cover was received by air mail in mid-May 1966. So this cover is from the small batch of mail which was recovered after the wreck was brought into Copenhagen.
Thiesen Collection.