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In 1929 the German Lloyd’s express steamers, "Bremen, Europa, and Columbus" had reduced ocean mail time to seven days. When mail missed sailing time at Bremerhaven, a supplementary air service via Cologne Lo Cherbourg, or to Southampton, put the “late” mail aboard these ships.

To shorten time even further, “Catapult Flights” were established by use of hydroplanes equipped to be catapulted from the ships, about 1000 km. at sea, and the mail flown ashore. This was done on both east and west crossings.Delivery of mail was reduced by as much as three days.

Specially equipped planes, Heinkel 12 or 58 and Junker 34 or 46 could carry from 450 to 475 pounds of mail, averaging 75 to 85 miles per hour. Mail was delivered to New York, or Boston, and eastbound to Southampton. Mail was often in the hands of the addressee by the time the ship docked.

The catapult service, begun in 1929 was ended in 1935, when an even faster service was provided by the “Zeppelin Mail”. Each catapult flight featured a distinctive cachet.


Danzig Report  Nr. 16 – 4th Quarter 1977, Page 8.

Hits: 1967

Added: 05/06/2015
Copyright: 2024