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One article of each ZEPPELIN POST JOURNAL is selected the WEB ARTICLE, which is published in the printed ZEPPELIN POST JOURNAL and also online on

This article was published in the Fall2010 issue of the ZEPPELIN POST JOURNAL .

The article is also available as pdf file .



Joachim Schaper reports
A misdirected catapult cover


The illustrated cover was dispatched on 30 April 1936 from Hamburg and was intended for airmail service to New York. In early 1936 the only Trans-Atlantic airmail service was by zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg whose first flight was due to depart from Friedrichshafen the following week on 6 May 1936. The cover was correctly franked for a 5-10 gram zeppelin cover: 25 Pfg international letter rate + 2 x 50 Pfg zeppelin surcharge (50 Pfg/5 gram).

But instead of waiting for the zeppelin departure a full week later the cover ended up on the North German Lloyd steamer SS Bremen which left Bremerhaven on 2 May 1936 for New York. The SS Bremen was the ship from which the Trans-Atlantic catapult flights had departed from 1929 till 1935. With the cessation of the catapult flights the Trans-Atlantic airmail service was then continued in 1936 by the North American flights of LZ-129 Hindenburg.

On board the SS Bremen the seapost official took notice of the misdirected airmail cover. He stamped the cover with a red cachet indicating that the catapult flights had been suspended and also with a three-bar-boxed marking over the airmail label indicating that no further airmail transmission was possible. The official also added the red Exprès label as a substitute for the paid zeppelin trans- mission. This cover reached New York on 8 May 1936 one day before the zeppelin landed at Lakehurst.



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