Today in Postal History



Morocco to France
January 22, 1924

This airmail cover was flown on one of the early
air routes traveling from Casablanca to Toulouse via air.
It was postmarked with two Marrakech-Medina CDS although the sender's
return address on the rear flap appears to suggest that another origin.

The ultimate destination was Mussidan sur Isle, Dordogne, which is
about 75 km east north east of Bordeaux in southwestern France.

Toulouse, the terminus of the airmail route is near the center of
southwest France 100 km or so from the Spanish border.

The following history of the route is excerpted from Pioneer Airpost Flights
of the World 1830-1935
, Dr. Max Kronstein, American Airmail Society, 1978.
On March 12, 1919, Monsieur Pierre Latecoere with Lt. Lamaire as co-pilot, left Casablanca, Morocco, on a Breguet 14 T on an exploratory flight to Rabat, Arbaoua, and Malaga and again from there the next day to Alivante and Barcelona, Spain.  In view of the bad weather, they made an unscheduled landing at Canet near Perpignan in France, not far from their original goal at Toulouse, where they arrived on March 14.
As this trial flight was successful, The Compagnie Generale d'Enterprises Aeronautiques (Lignes aeriennnes Latecoere) decided to establish a regular service on this route.  Service was inaugurated from Toulouse on Sept. 1, 1919, with mail being accepted from Paris..  The first return flight took place on Sept. 3 from Rabat-Malaga-Alicante (overnight stop) Barcelona-Toulouse.  The Breguet XIV airplane with M. Daurat as pilot, arrived at Toulouse on Sept. 4.  There are no special cachets reported from this inaugural flight.
In regular operation the mail from Paris was forwarded to Toulouse by night express, arriving there at 9 a.m.  The plane was waiting, ready to start for the first stop at Barcelona (240 miles), then to Alicante, (Spain) (300 miles) to Malaga and after a flight across the Strait of Gibraltar to Rabat in Morocco.  On December 1, 1919, the service was further extended to Casablanca.
In 1922 the Latecoere services were extended from Casablanca to Oran and on May 3, 1923, to Dakar, which in subsequent years became the base point for the forwarding of airmail by speedy boats to South America.
The cover's routing was specified by the sender as Par Avion Casablanca Toulouse.

There is a Casablanca transit CDS on the rear dated January 23.

The cover is franked with attractive stamps from the
1923 series portraying the Tower of Hassan in Rabat.
There is a 20c red brown, 25c ultramarine, and 30c deep red (Scott 96, 98, and 99).

There is also what appears to be an undenominated
French official airpost label which I cannot identify.
Help, anyone?

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