Today in Postal History



Italy to Argentina
January 24, 1934

This first flight cover has an interesting history.
It also appears to have been a mourning cover.
It was intended for Italy's first Trans-Atlantic Air Mail service from Rome to Buenos Aires.

This cover was sent from Mezzano about 50 km west southwest of Bolzano in northern Italy.
The first stamp, a 1.25 l blue from the 1933 issue for the
International University Games at Turin (Scott 309), received a Mezzano CDS.
In addition, there is another clear strike of the CDS beside the stamp.
This is probably the stamp that paid for getting the cover to the point of departure for the flight.

Although the cover was cancelled the 24th, the flight didn't get off until January 29.
I don't know whether this was on or off schedule.

The cover was also franked with the special airmail for the flight issued on January 18.
This stamp was surcharged with:
PRIMO VOLO DIRECTTO
ROMA - BUENOS - AYRES
TRIMOTORE "LOMBARDI-MAZZOTTI,,
Further, there was a silhouette of an airplane in the top right corner with the inscription 1934 XII.
The denomination was overprinted and a 5 was used to increase the stamp's value to 5 l.
The stamp design used was 2 l from the 1930 airmail series (Scott C17).
However, the stamp was printed in rose (Scott C34).
There are three other denominations in the set based on the same
design but in different colors printed for the flight - 2 l, 3 l, and 10 l.
(I don't know how each rate was used.)

This stamp received the special CDS for the flight.
(Unfortunately, this CDS is not clear enough to decipher it.)

In addition, an attractive rubber stamp cachet was applied for the flight.

The destination of the cover was Cordoba, Argentina.

The flight met an ignominious end with a crash at Fortaleza on the north coast of Brazil.
On the back of the cover there is a violet cachet in Spanish,
"Transported by courtesy Pan-American Airways System, Fortaleza-Buenos Aires."

The cover was backstamped in Buenos Aires on February 2.
There is also a Cordoba receiving backstamp dated February 3.

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