Crash covers are one of the branches in aerophilately that are not planned (compared to first day cover) and represent a ‘true postal history’.
They often bear the trauma of the tragedy, and are constant reminders of such events. Crash covers are not particularly easy to come by and the thrill of finding one is elating.
On the 2nd of May 1953, a BOAC Comet-1 flight brought 43 people on board from Calcutta, India for London. The plane was thought to have crashed 6 minutes after taking off due to exceptionally severe tropical storm. All 43 people on board the ill-fated flight died in the tragedy.
Salvaged mails from in the aftermath of the crash often bear a special cachet and are quite rare, at least from the region of British Borneo. They are highly sought after.
This interesting cover from North Borneo which was spotted from previous Gosvenor Auction is a testify to the tragedy that happened near Calcutta in 1953. The cover is a registered post from Sandakan to Messrs. Harrisons & Crosfield Limited, London. It is unusually franked with high value stamps of North Borneo totalling $24 – one stamp washed out so total franking should be higher.
The mail is marked with the usual cachet of “Salvaged Mail. “Comet” Crash Near Calcutta. 2nd May 1953″ and bears the trauma of the tragedy. It is mildly water-damaged with some faults on the stamps.
Sold for £230
Further reading on the comet crash.