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Gallery » Danzig Report 6 - November, December 1975 » JOURNEY TO THE ORIENT OF THE LZ 127 “GRAF ZEPPELIN”

> JOURNEY TO THE ORIENT OF THE LZ 127 “GRAF ZEPPELIN”

Start:                                                               March 25th, 1929 00:50 o’clock Friedrichshafen
Landing:                                                        March 28th, 1929 10:17 o’clock [Non-stop]
Duration of flight:                                      81 hours,27 minutes
Fee:                                                                 Card- 1.40 Gulden. Letter: 2.80 Gulden (20 Grams)
Obtained in Danzig for delivery:         120 letters, 101 cards = 221 total
Price:                                                               Card- 20 RM Letter- 40 RM

After a rest period of five months, the “Graf Zeppelin” left the hangar on the 25th of March for an Easter journey which led her into the Holy land. There were about 9,000 letters and 7600 cards on board which were dropped over ER RAMLE PALESTINE. As reported, the Post Office of that location did not administer an arrival cancellation because formal permission to fly over this territory was not applied for [See Notes below]. Yet they carry the impression of the large Zeppelin circle cancellation (34 mm in diameter) and also a representation in red color of the airship over the pyramids: LUFTSCHIFF GRAF ZEPPELIN ORIENTFAHRT 1929. Before us there is a letter posted in Danzig on the 22nd of March, 1929, to destination Cairo which received the arrival cancellation: Cairo, March 28th, 6:30 o’clock. Part is in Arabic and part is in Latin script [Not illustrated in the Ruberg article]. Forwarded sendirigs received arrival markings elsewhere so that the intention to play a trick on the Zeppelin was fortunately not successful. By the way, in Germany the missing arrival cancellations resulted in a petition to the R.P.M. because some “customers” had doubts about the actual transportation of mail by the Zeppelin. The reply of the R.P.M. was that the only sendings received the airship cancellation which were actually accepted for the transportation by the LZ 127.

[Notes: This information (concerning the Er Ramle arrival cancel) has subsequently been proven incorrect. We have reproduced below (Fig. 3) a card with 2 arrival postmarks that are unintelligible but may have been dropped over Istanbul (Fig. 4). The “FRIEDRICH SHAFEN/Bodensee/LUFTPOST/23. MRZ 29” mark on this card indicates that it was postmarked on the ground before dispatch. On this flight, for the first time, an on-board post office provided a postmark: “IJUFTSCHIFF/GRAF ZEPPELIN” (Fig. 5). Further details of this flight are from the Arnold Engel article in the German Postal Specialist of February, 1972: “G. Z. Over the Holy Land”:

Six bags of mail were dropped over Palestine. (27th March, 1929). The mail consisted of correspondence in the form of letters and postcards. Four of the six bags were dropped at Ramle and two others at Tel-Aviv. Although Sieger’s Zeppelin Catalog mentions only that mail was dropped only over Ramie (Fig. 6), covers and postcards with Jerusalem arrival postmarks do exist. It is said to have been from the drops at Tel-Aviv. The Zeppelin cruised over Haifa at a speed of 134 km/per hour and over Jerusalem at a low

Danzig Report   Nr. 6 – November - December - 1975, Page 5.


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