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AIRMAIL COVERS OF SOUTH AFRICA

December 2020's display by Danie van Zyl, 'The First Airmail Issues 1917 - 1925', provides an excellent and relatively short introduction to the airmail stamps of the 27 countries that preceded South Africa with an airmail service in 1925. It is recommended viewing. We have now followed this up in January 2021 with Danie's superb "Airplanes & Airmail in South Africa 1911 -1925", one of the best displays I have seen. It is a pocket-battleship of a display!.

I have opened this post in an attempt to complement Danie's display with a few early airmail covers of my own. I am hoping that readers will follow suit and submit some of their airmail covers. I am hoping that together we can complete what Danie started, namely going beyond the point where aircraft and airmail services in South Africa first achieved "gee, gosh, golly, it's amazing" lift-off and moved on to the point where airmail became an everyday regular service which we took for granted.

Below is the only cover that I have that shows the full set of 1925 airmail stamps. I will add more over the next few days. Please feel free to add your airmail covers in whatever date order they come to hand. BTW, I am no expert on airmails. The considered opinion of experts is welcomed.

TOP: CAPE TOWN '28 FEB 25' to EAST LONDON. SA AIRMAIL '28 FEB 1925'.
The cover below is not a First Day Cover. Stamps were issued on 25th February. But it may be a first flight!  The note I have says the first flight (presumably Cape Town to East London) was on the 2nd March. So maybe not given that it is dated '28th FEB 1925'!

So, my question to any expert out there is, "what was the date of the first flight Cape Town to East London?" and "Did the PO hold the cover back if the first flight was on 2nd March?" Clearly, it would have gotten to East London a lot quicker if it had been posted on 28th and gone by rail. However, this is an aero-philatelic cover intended to show first or early airmail usage even if delayed by several days!

As all good displays should, Danie's "Airplanes & Airmail in South Africa 1911 -1925" answers my first question. Thanks!

BOTTOM: PORT ELIZABETH '5 MAR 25' to CAPE TOWN. SA AIRMAIL '6 MAR 1925'
I also include another early cover with 2d purple King's Head and 3d Airmail stamp. I imagine the airmail rate was 4d plus a 1d for normal postage, a total of 5d as seen by the affixed stamps. The cover has suffered from its passage through time and space. Does anyone know anything about Major Fetherstone, DSO, MC?

Both covers have  an SA AIRMAIL postmark. I imaginese these are the days of the flight?

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