Today in Postal History

Romania to Australia
April 29, 1931

This airmail cover was posted in Bucarest and destined for Concord West, New South Wales.
Concord West is a suburban area in Sydney.

There were two different airmail etiquettes in blue and red.
Further, the sender had marked the routing desired - Per. Romanian and Australian Air Mail.
The mail was marked with a pencilled red cross similar to registry blue marking of the British Commonwealth.
I wonder if this was intended to be an indicator of air mail service.

The cover received three Bucarest AVION bridge cancels.
There is also an oval Bucaresti Par Avion datestamp on the reverse.

There is a roller Istanbul receiver for April 30 on the reverse.

Its next stop was Port Said, Egypt where it was postmarked with two CDS on the reverse.
Two were apparently required as neither was very complete.

This leg of the journey was probably via a mail ship.
So much for the speed of airmail!

There was possibly some form of air mail service beyond Port Said at this time.
Kingsford-Smith had made his flight to Australia in
October of 1930, so such flights were probably rudimentary.
This may have been intended to catch a first flight on its way to Australia.
Does anyone know which one?

There is a pencilled marking By air in Europe which suggests
that the cover may not have connected with a desired air flight.

Imperial Airways had sent a first airplane on its way to Australia on April 4 on a 15 day
schedule; however, this plane crashed in Koepang (Netherlands East Indies?)
where the mail was rescued by the intrepid Kingsford-Smith
and flown to Australia in his airplane, Southern Cross.

There were a number of experimental flights conducted on routes
between England and Australia during the months of April and May.
KLM was also active in early long distance flights from Netherlands to Netherlands East Indies.

There is no evidence of arrival in Australia.

The cover is franked with a complete set of the 1928
airmails - 1, 2, and 5 lei - showing Captain C.G. Craiu's airplane.
Depending on the watermark, these could either be Scott C1-3 or C4-6.
There are also what appear to be a 7.5 lei ultrmarine and a
10 lei deep blue from the 1930 King Carol II series (Scott 376 and 377).

There's a lot to be learned, even from what appears to be a ratty cover.


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