Today in Postal History

Greece to Libya
April 19, 1935

This colorful airmail first flight cover was sent from
Athens to Tripoli (now Tarābulus) on the Mediterranean coast.
There is a blue bilingual etiquette and a bilingual PAR AVION handstamp.
There is also a handstamp noting that this was a first flight from Athenes to Tripoli on Air France.

The addressee was the Air France Agent in Tripoli with designation for the sender P. Drossos.
Grand Liban was added to route the return through Lebanon.
P. Drossos was a prominent stamp dealer in Athens.

 The cover received five Athens CDS - three on the front and two on the back.
The cover is franked with two 1930 airmail stamps
- 50 lepta green airplane over map of Greece and 2 drachma
light violet airplane over map of Icarian Sea (Scott C15 and C17).
There are also two 1934 postal tax stamps
- a 10 lepta blue, buff and red Red Cross helping soldier and family and
a 10 lepa blue green, orange and buff allegory of Health (Scott RA47 and RA 49).
The second postal tax stamp had to be used four weeks
of the year including Christmas, New Year, and Easter.
The proceeds were used to benefit tubercular clerks and
officials of the Post, Telephone and Telegraph Service.
The postal tax stamps were similar to semi-postals except
that all of the proceeds went to the charitable object without any
portion going for the postal service as in the case of semipostals.

There is also a block of four of the 1927 40 lepta slate blue
White Tower of Salonika on the back (Scott 325).

The cover arrived in Tripolitania (the western portion of the Italian Colony of Libya
- the eastern portion was Cyrenaica) on April 20 as shown by the center right CDS on the back.
The cover was then readdressed to Beyrouth.
The address of Grand Liban requested this routing for return of these first flight covers.
Such routing may or may not have been the standard return routing.

It was given a Tripoli - Liban transit mark the same day, April 20.
Its arrival in Beyrouth was noted by a CDS receiver on the same day.
Pretty good service!


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