Today in Postal History

 

Greece to Straits Settlements via Belgian Congo
December 23, 1932

This cover went on the first flight by Imperial Airways from Athens
to Elisabethville, Belgian Congo (now Lubumbashi in Zaire).

It bears five strikes of the Athens airmail CDS.
Its arrival in Elisabethville was marked by a December 31 CDS.
Its next stop was in Alexandria to receive a faint
transit mark near the center bottom of the rear.*
From there the cover went to Penang in the Straits Settlements arriving on January 23, 1933.
It reached Singapore on January 24.

There are two rubber stamps - one for the first flight and
the other a Par Avion etiquette which inserted a destination.
There is also a registration label from Athens.
Somewhere en route a faint blue registration cross was crayoned on the front.

The stamps starting from the upper left are: 8d deep violet
Arcadi Monastery with Abbot Gabriel from 1930 (Scott 363),
1932 1.50d surcharge on 5d 1928 lake and black Admiral van Der Heyden (Scott 373),
1927 25d green and black Acropolis (Scott 334),
1932 2d surcharge on the 1928 5d dark green and black Sir Edward Codrington (Scott 375),
and 1932 4d surcharge on 1927 6d green
Centenary of Liberation of Athens from the Turks (Scott 377).

P. Drossos (corner card on back flap) was an Athenian stamp dealer.

*Thanks to David Benson for recognizing the Alexandria transit mark on the rear.,

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