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Airmail Of German Southwest Africa

 
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2655 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   03:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add PostmasterGS to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I received a rare one in the mail today, so here's another little bit of philatelic history.

On 11 April 1914, the Rudolf Hertzog mail-order house of Berlin arranged for pilot Bruno Buchner to take a Pfalz biplane to German Southwest Africa (DSWA) for an exhibition to be held in Windhoek, DSWA, on 29 May-4 June 1914.


Buchner's Pfalz Biplane in DSWA

The aircraft was assembled in Swakopmund, DSWA, and made several trial flights on 14 May 1914. At some point, the decision was made to have the plane conduct several airmail flights on 18 May 1914. The aircraft was to fly along the railway line from Swakopmund-Usakos-Karibib-Okahandja-Windhoek, landing at each town and carrying mail.


The flight started in Swakopmund on 18 May 1914 at 0630. The mail picked-up in Swakopmund was stamped with a single-line, violet rubber stamp "Erster Flugpostversuch in DSWA" (First airmail attempt in DSWA). Mail with this cachet catalogs in Friedemann as Fr. FN1.

Fr. FN1

After an emergency landing en route, Buchner arrived in Usakos (83 miles/133 km away) in the late afternoon of 18 May 1914. The following morning (19 May 1914), he departed for Karibib (17 miles/27 km away) at 0700, arriving there 20 minutes later.

Mail posted in Usakos received a 3-line rubber stamp "Luftpost Usakos-Karibib / 1 Flugzeug in Südwest / befördert" (Usakos-Karibib airmail / 1st airplane in Southwest / transported). Mail with this cachet catalogs in Friedemann as Fr. FN2.

Fr. FN2

Due to the weather, the flight couldn't proceed from Karibib as scheduled on 19 May 1914. Instead, local exhibition flights were conducted on 20-21 May 1914. On 22 May 1914, the airmail flights resumed with the flight from Karibib to Okahandja (69 miles/109 km). Because of the delay, mail for this leg typically carries one of two cancel dates - 19 May 1914 (mail accepted for the originally scheduled flight) or 21 May 1914 (mail accepted during the delay). The mail accepted in Karibib bears a 3-line cachet - "Erste FLUGPOST / Swakopmund Karibib Windhuk / Deutschsüdwestafrika" (First airmail / Swakopmund Karibib Windhuk / German Southwest Africa). The cachet is typically in green ink for the 19 May 1914 mail, and in black-violet ink for the 21 May 1914 mail. Mail with this cachet catalogs in Friedemann as Fr. FN3.

Postal Stationery MiNr. P19 I, use catalogs as Fr. FN3 - click to enlarge

On 24 May 1914, Buchner left Okahandja for Windhuk (42 miles/67 km away), but he had to make emergency landings in Teufelsbach and Brakwater due to bad weather en route. He finally landed on the Windhoek racecourse on 27 May 1914. Mail carried from Okahandja received a 3-line violet cachet - "Erste FLUGPOST / Deutsch Südwestafrika / Okahandja Windhuk" (First airmail / German Southwest Africa / Okahandja Windhoek). Mail with this cachet catalogs in Friedemann as Fr. FN4.

Fr. FN4

These were the only airmail flights ever conducted in German Southwest Africa. Mail carried on these flights is exceptionally rare, and I was lucky to get the copy of FN3 above for a "reasonable" price.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
Edited by PostmasterGS - 03/18/2020 09:43 am

Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 03/18/2020   05:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for posting! You always have such fascinating stuff from the German Empire and its colonies.
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
36823 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   05:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another entertaining post, by the Postmaster.
1914 How amazing would it have been, for people in DSWA to see humans flying!

Some lovely pictures of the interior of the Rudolph Hertzog Milinery Salon, and others.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/49501...2/5348938778


Some Bibliography on SWA
"The Bookshelf"
Stamp Collecting Magazine 1st May 1980
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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
1255 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   06:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PostmasterGS, very nice indeed! As you have written, these items are rare, and I'm so pleased that you gave us the history which puts them in full context. Early airmail is always so much more than a cover and a destination.
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Valued Member
United States
238 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   09:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rich60 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postmaster GS - thank you for sharing. I love this stuff. It is fascinating.

Rich
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
596 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   10:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great Post PostmasterGs!
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United States
497 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EdziuMM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Terrific!
I was in suspense throughout, afraid of it all ending with a fatal crash.
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Learn More...
United States
642 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   11:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great post Postmaster, and very nice followup Rod.
A very interesting saga. This sort of stuff is why I love stamp collecting, so thanks.

I was curious what might have happened to him in the first World War given he was in Africa shortly before the war. In itself it is an interesting tale too, described in his German Wikipedia entry .


Jonathan
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France, Metropolitan
3356 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   12:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Edited by perf12 - 03/18/2020 12:23 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
36823 Posts
Posted 03/18/2020   5:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating link, Jonathan.
Wow! 582 Km in 36 hrs on a fixed wheel pushbike. That is amazing.
around 17Km per hour
I do 40Km at about 21Km per hour with 10 gears.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2655 Posts
Posted 08/08/2022   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I received another of these, and it made me realize I'd made an error in my original post.

I stated that there were four possible cachets, one for each leg of the flight. As it turns out, however, the source I was using was incorrect (or at least unclear) in listing the four without mention of a fifth. I mentioned that the third leg was delayed, leading to two possible cancel dates for that leg -- 19 May 1914 and 21 May 1914. However, I neglected to note that different cachets were used on the two dates on which mail was cancelled, leading to two cachets on third-leg mail.

The mail that was collected for the originally scheduled third leg was cancelled on 19 May 1914 and received a 3-line cachet — "Erste FLUGPOST / Swakopmund Karibib Windhuk / Deutschsüdwestafrika" (First airmail / Swakopmund Karibib Windhuk / German Southwest Africa) in green ink. This is the cachet on the card I showed in the OP.

The additional mail that was collected for the re-scheduled third leg was cancelled on 21 May 1914 and received a 3-line cachet - "Erste FLUGPOST / Deutsch Sudwestafrika / Karibib Windhuk" (First airmail / German Southwest Africa / Karibib Windhuk) in black-violet ink.

This cachet is on my new card:

I believe the language used on the card is Nama, which I can't find a good translator for.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
36823 Posts
Posted 08/08/2022   10:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Any help?

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