Today in Postal History

Union of South Africa to Madagascar
July 31, 1934

This first flight cover was sent from Capetown at the south tip of Africa.
It was carried on a first flight to Tananarive in central Madagascar.

The destination was Majunga (now Mahajanga) on the northwest coast of Madagascar.

The cover is annotated "via Broken Hill" below the trilingual airmail etiquette.
The routing via Broken Hill (now Kabwe) in Zambia suggests the following scenario for the flight:
The cover was flown from Capetown to Broken Hill via Imperial Airways which had inagurated the route in 1932.
At Broken Hill it went aboard a Régie Malgache return flight to Tananarive via Tete in Portuguese East Africa.
This flight was the return flight of the first flight from Tanarive to Broken Hill on July 28 (see below).
The flight was probably piloted by the two founders of R
égie Malgache,
René Lefevre and Jean Assollant, who flew from Tananarive to Broken Hill.
The aircraft was an SPCA 218 F-AKDY.*

F-AKDY Comes a Cropper in Mozambique
F-AKDY 'came a cropper' later in Mozambique
(from ICARE article*)

The cover was franked with a margin copy of a 1920 1s3d violet King George VII (SG 13).
The sender was C. Wyndham who apparently was a member of the House of Assembly.
The addressee was a relative, L. A. Wyndham, at Poste Restante in Majunga.

There is a Capetown CDS.
The cover was received in Tananarive on August 4.
A slogan roller arrival cancel was applied on the reverse but I cannot decipher the slogan.
Madagascar | offers you its | vanillas | ?????.

It then proceeded to Majunga where a receiver noted its arrival on August 9.

C. Wyndham prepared other airmail covers during this time.

Another Cover prepared for Regie Malgache 1st Flight
Another cover prepared by Wyndham (from ICARE article*)

Tananarive to Broken Hill First Flight
First Flight Cover from Tananarive to Paris via Broken Hill
(from ICARE article*)

*Thanks to David Benson for supplementary information
on the probable routing for this first flight via Broken Hill and to
Michel Brisebois for further detail and images from
"Poste aérienne française volume 1", by Gérard Collot in issue no. 173 (2000) of ICARE.
Thanks to Michel as well for extending the translation of the roller cancel.

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