Today in Postal History

Indo China to France

March 28, 1932

This ratty cover has a good excuse for its condition.
It was rescued after an airmail accident on March 28, 1932.

The cover was en route from Saigon to Marseille on Cie Air Orient.
The seaplane AJNN piloted by Pommereau left Saigon on March 18.
The flight was delay between Corfu and Naples by bad weather.

As a matter of prudence, the crew brought the plane down at Cotrone
(now Crotone) on the Mediterranean Coast on the sole of the Italian 'boot.'
 During the storm that followed, the seaplane broke its moorings and was driven onshore.
The mail got soaked and the plane was damaged.
Italian officials would not let the plane proceed and a relief flight,
AJLJ piloted by Remy, was sent to continue the flight.

When the mail arrived in Marseille, it was stamped COURRIER ACCIDENTE.
The letter was backstamped March 31 on its arrival  in Paris.

This cover lost what appears to be two of its stamps as a result of the watersoaking.
The remaining stamp is a 1922-23 15 cent orange and black (Scott 110).
The rate was 66 cents with 60 cents for the airmail fee and 6 cents for postage.*

The printed return address indicates the cover was posted in Phnom-Penh in Cambodia.
There are two CDS, presumably, Phnom-Penh.
There is a PAR AVION airmail etiquette on colored paper and a Saigon Marseille inscription.
There is also the faint remains of a PAR AVION | JUSQUA MARSEILLE handstamp.
The Jusqua Marseille means "as far as Marseille."
This indicated that the letter would be sent by air to Marseille and on to Paris via surface mail.*

*Thanks to Paul Barsdell for the added information on the rate and the Par Avion handstamp.


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