Today in Postal History

Belgian Congo to Belgium
October 30, 1936

This specially printed Sabena airmail cover did double duty.
Note the neat map provided for the flight.

First, the cover was flown on the first flight of Sabena from
Brussels to Elisabethville via Stanleyville on October 24.
There are two Brussels CDS handstamps for the departure.

There is also a neat V-shaped red cachet on the front right of the cover.

I believe the significance of the 5 in the cachet is that the flight schedule was 5 days.
The cover was backstamped October 29 on its arrival in Elisabethville meeting the 5 day schedule.

For this part of the flight, the cover was franked with a Belgian 1935 4fr airmail (Scott C7) made by
surcharging a 1930 5fr brown lake Fokker VII/3m over Ostende (Scott C4).
The cover also required a 1fr 1936 King Leopold III rose carmine (Scott 284).

The return flight departed Elisabethville on October 30 and arrived in Brussels on November 5.
The return took somewhat longer than the 5 days scheduled.

The return flight received a Elisabethville CDS for each
of the five Belgian Congo stamps used to frank the cover.
The cover was also stamped with a winged motif cachet.

The stamps used included three 1934 Fokker VII over Congo airmails -
50c gray black, 1fr dark carmine,  and 1.50fr green (Scott C7, C8, and C9).
In addition, there is a 1920 50c orange and black wharf on the Congo River airmail
and a 1936 1.50fr + 10c dull rose Queen Astrid with Congolese children semi-postal (Scott C1 and B24).
The semi-postal was for the benefit of the National League for Protection of Native Children.

The rate was 5fr both ways with a 10c addition for the Belgian Congo semi-postal.


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