Alexandria, 1935

  • Digital Collection


This cover from England was carried on the Imperial Airways Short S.8 Calcutta class flying boat CITY OF KHARTOUM, G-AASJ, that ran out of fuel while approaching a landing in the dark at Alexandria Harbour, on 31st December 1935.  All three engines stopped and the plane dived into the water, sinking almost immediately.

A week after the crash, 71 mail bags were recovered and forwarded by boat to the destination countries in a soaked condition, resulting in a wide variety of cachets being applied in a variety of languages and styles.  This cover seems to have been processed by the Egyptian Post Office with only an arrival backstamp and then forwarded to the British Military Post Office, presumably with the envelope flap unstuck, where the OHMS label was affixed and the MPO handstamp applied on 6 January 1936 with a manuscript note incorrectly stating: “Damaged at Khartoum”.