Today in Postal History

Belgium to the Dodecanese Islands

June 2, 1938

This first flight cover from Éghezée.
Éghezée is about 55 km southeast of Brussels on the Méhaigne.
It is just north of Namur.

This cover was flown on the first Lufthansa flight from Berlin to Rhodes.
Rhodes was the largest of the Dodecanese Islands lying off the coast of Turkey.
The islands were seized by the Italians from Turkey in 1912.
They were one of the spoils of war given Italy in a secret British-Italian
treaty for Italy's entry into World War I on the behalf of the Allies.
After World War II they became Greeek.

The cover was franked with a 1938 semi-postal of 10c on a 5c carmine brown
King Leopold II in a military plane (Scott B209);
a 1935 airmail surcharged with 1fr over a 1.50 fr airmail from
1930 showing a Fokker FVIII/3m over Ostend ( Scott C6);
and a 1935 25c carmine rose Coat of Arms (Scott 270).

There are two clear Éghezée CDS.

The cover was marked IMPRIME to qualify as printed matter.
The straight line Italian AL MITTENTE  indicated return to the sender.

The sender requested airmail service on German Lufthansa from Berlin to Rhodes.
There is also a neat dark blue bilingual airmail etiquette.

The cover was sent Poste restante with the expectation
that the addressee would return the cover to the sender.
Often in such a case, the recipient was an employee of the airline at the destination.


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