1939 "CHALLENGER" CRASH: Envelope from London to Port Elizabeth, South Africa bearing strike of the two-line cachet "DAMAGED BY SEAWATER / SEAPLANE CHALLENGER" in violet. This cachet was applied only to mail addressed to the Eastern Cape. Franked GB KGVI 1½d tied Shepherd's Bush machine cancel 24 APR. A VF example of this recovered crash mail, virtually undamaged. Scarce.
The Imperial Airways flying boat "Challenger", flown by Captain Smith, left Southampton for South Africa on April 26th. The seaplane crashed on landing at Lumbo in Mozambique on May 1st. All the mail was recovered; that which was damaged by immersion was further processed in Durban.