Price: 499.00 USD
June 1940 WWII British army airmail cover Palestine 1st horseshoe route flight
Improvised air mail before ‘Horseshoe Route’ posted after 10 June: 12 JUNE 1940 airmailed green honour envelope from FPO 121 (Jaffa Road, JERUSALEM) to NUNEATON, tied by British airmail etiquette & franked 60m using 12x 5m Mandate pictorals (scarce multiple franking) per the Imperial Airlines/BOAC air mail service rate; the cover was posted 2 days after Italy’s entry into the war and the dramatic change to British air mail routes in the Mediterranean, but the paid airmail postage here would have qualified this cover to be carried on the next available air service.
Here the cover was posted early enough to be on the last batch of mails sent to the UK before the start of the Horseshoe Route: it was transferred to ALEXANDRIA Egypt and taken with other UK-bound mail which had been ‘dumped’ there by Imperial Airways flight SW 246 on 10 June (Clark, Ch.3 p.4-5), and from there flown the next day to CAIRO by either of 2 special repositioned flights, the flying boats ‘Castor’ or ‘Cambria’; from there, a week later, again on either of these special flights, the cover was transported south to DURBAN, arriving on either 21 or 23 June, and then transported by sea on the ‘Capetown Castle’, making this the last air mail prior to the 1st mails sent on the new ‘Horseshoe Route’ (Clark, Ch.2 p.10-11).
The [eastern originating leg of the] horseshoe route came into effect on 19 June but the first such flight only reached Tiberias on the 27th and Cairo on the 28th. Palestine Gazette #1025 of 27 June (p.718) announced that “The mails for the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the American Continents, South Africa and certain other countries of the Far East will be despatched by a circuitous route and will be subject to delay, in some cases considerable delay”, taking effect on 19 June. Cover passed censor #1042 in Palestine. From July 1940, British military post from Palestine was franked using British stamps. Rare and important postal history.
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