Today in Postal History


 

United States First Flight Crash Cover
March 1, 1929

March 1, 1929, was to have been a big day for Pitcairn Aviation
flying Contract Air Mail Route 25 (CAM 25).
CAM 25 ran from Atlanta, Georgia, to Jacksonville, Florida, and on to Miami, Florida.
On March 1, stops were added in Macon, Georgia, and Daytona Beach, Florida.
In addition, a spur flight from Daytona Beach to Tampa, Florida was to be added.

This cover was intended to be flown on the southbound
segments from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach to Tampa.
It received a clear machine postmark in Jacksonville on the morning of the flight.
The flight to Daytona Beach was successful, but on takeoff from
Daytona Beach bound for Tampa, Pilot C. J. Faulkner encountered engine trouble
and had to make a forced landing in the Halifax River, a coastal bay.

Fortunately, the pilot was able to swim ashore and get help.
The mail was rescued but all 500 pounds of mail aboard got wet and shows damage.
This cover lost its stamp in the soaking.
Within three hours, a reserve airplane took over the flight and finished it that day.
The cover shows a Tampa arrival postmark of 4:30 pm.

Although this cover received an annotation by the postmaster
in Tampa, most items were forwarded without notation.
A few were marked with a statement of the mishap by a postal inspector.

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