Acknowledgement to Blair RCSD about 6 years ago.
(Hence links may now not work)
Looking Back #183 -
Catapult Mail Options
Catapult Mail - Mail carried by an aircraft catapulted from a ship at
By the late 1920s aircraft had undergone considerable development,
but were not yet powerful enough to fly non-stop across the oceans.
Experiments were therefore carried out by mounting aircraft on the
decks of passenger liners, and dispatching them by catapult several
hundred miles before the ship reached her destination. In this way
it was possible to deliver the mail at the terminal port rather more
The first catapult mails were those flown from the French Liner
Íle de France, on the North Atlantic run, in 1928 and 1929. http://www.hgitner.com/img/zeppim/f...929_6648.jpg
But the best known were those from the German liners Bremen
and Europa introduced in 1929-30. http://www.shipsonstamps.org/Topics.../bremen2.jpg http://www.stampauctionnetwork.com/F/87/166.jpg http://www.hgitner.com/img/zeppim/1566.jpg http://www.mayoph.com/images4/06c252.jpg http://www.mayoph.com/images4/06c253.jpg
In 1933-4 the German Government experimented with an airmail
service across the South Atlantic, using a ship, the Westfalen, as
a halfway refuelling base. Planes were catapulted from this vessel
on several occasions. http://www.steelnavy.com/images/200...estfalen.jpg http://www.century-of-flight.freeol...ages9/32.jpg http://www.historyofaircargo.com/im...mage-037.jpg
Most items of catapult mail can be identified by special cachets
applied prior to the flight.
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia