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The Knapp Collection of Airmail Flights


U.S. Attempted Flights
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 440

1926, Attempted Nonstop Flight, New York - Paris, recovered cover canceled Westbury, N.Y., Sep 15, with smoke and water damage, Fine to Very Fine. One of only seventeen covers recovered (nine with the Westbury cancel, two of which were signed by the pilot, René Fonck).
AAMC TO 1042b.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Current Bid$150
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Lot 441

1926, Attempted Nonstop Flight, New York - Paris, recovered cover canceled Manhasset, N.Y., Sep 15, with slight water stain on right edge, Fine to Very Fine. One of only seven recovered covers with the Manhasset cancel.
AAMC TO 1044c.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Current Bid$150
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Lot 442

1926, Attempted Nonstop Flight, New York - Paris, French passport carried by radio operator, Charles E. Clavier, who was killed when the plane crashed for the second time; the passport was reportedly used by the coroner to identify the body; with smoke and water damage, Fine.
AAMC TO 1042 var.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Current Bid$100
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Lot 443

1926, Attempted Nonstop Flight, New York - Paris, collateral material, first relating to pilot, Capt. Réné Fonck: a 1921 typed letter signed by Fonck as a member of the French Chamber of Deputies regarding a proposal to build a monument to deceased French athletes; also a Carte de Visite, while in the same office, and a 5" x 7" press photo of Fonck in uniform following World War I; secondly, promotional materials from Argonauts Inc., sponsors of the flight as owners of the plane built by Igor Sikorsky; includes a printed offer to carry 1,000 covers on the flight in return for a $5 donation, together with a receipt for such a donation made out to one George Harvey and the cover, with Argonauts Inc. corner card, used to mail said receipt to Harvey. A fascinating group, Fine.
AAMC TO 1042 var.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Current Bid$100
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Lot 444

1927 (Jun 29), Byrd Attempted Flight, New York - Paris, cover postmarked New York, Jun 21, with Jul 2 Ver-sur-Mer receiver on the front; cover is missing its stamps, as are most, due to the mail bag being soaked when the plane was forced to land short of the beach at Ver-sur-Mer; the envelope also shows signs of previous dampness; otherwise Very Fine

Included are three 5¢ stamps that seem to match the postmarks on the cover. They were returned to the letter's recipient, Mr. T.F. Whitmarsh of Bankers Trust Co, in Paris, after Mr. Whitmarsh apparently complained about someone stealing the stamps from his cover. Also included is a series of letters between various parties including representatives of the French Ministry of Posts & Telegraphs, explaining that the loose stamps had been found at the bottom of the mail bag, and that anyone wishing to claim them should send or bring their covers to the Ministry, where they would attempt to match the stamps to the postmarks. The three stamps were enclosed in an envelope with corner card of the Ministry.
AAMC TO 1060.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Current Bid$130
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Lot 445

1930 (Sep 14), Attempted Flight, Tokyo - Tacoma, Wash., Japanese postal card canceled Yokohama, Aug 25, typed endorsement, "By kindness of Lieut. Harold Bromley, on his plane 'City of Tacoma', from Japan to Tacoma, Wash., U.S.A. (signed) Harold Gatty. #5 of 10 cards carried"; includes a 5" x 7" press photo of Gatty, Bromley, and two other aviators, Eddie Brown and Bob Wark; also includes a reduced photostat of a detailed account of the flight written by Gatty in Dec 1945, Very Fine.
AAMC TO 1119.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Current Bid$100
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Lot 446

1931 (Jun 22), Ruth Nichols Attempted Transatlantic Solo Flight, unposted cover signed by Nichols with appropriate handstamped cachets including "Plane Crashed At St. Johns, New Brunswick, June 22, 1931".
AAMC TO 1142.
Estimate $100 - 150.
Current Bid$50
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Lot 447

1932 (May 16), Attempted Salvage Flight to the S.S. Baychimo, cover franked with 2¢ Washington tied by May Barrow, Alaska duplex with printed explanatory cachet and signed by pilot W.R. Graham and co-pilot, Edna Christofferson; light paperclip stain at bottom, Very Fine.
AAMC 85.
Estimate $100 - 150.
Current Bid$50
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Lot 448

1932 (Jul 5-7), Mattern-Griffin Attempted Round-the-World Flight, cover franked with appropriate stamps canceled New York (Jul 5), Berlin (Jul 6) and Minsk (Jul 7) and signed by Jimmie Mattern and B.(ennett) H. Griffin; accompanied by a postcard size press photo of Mattern & Griffin in their plane, Century of Progress (small tape repair), Fine to Very Fine. Only 10 covers are said to have been carried.
AAMC TO 1167; $1,200.
Estimate $750 - 1,000

The attempted round-the-world flight ended when they were forced to make an emergency crash landing at Borisov, Belarus. They did, however, set a speed record for crossing the Atlantic in 10 hours, 50 minutes.

Current Bid$375
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Lot 449

1932 (Jul 5-7), Mattern-Griffin Attempted Round-the-World Flight, cover franked and canceled as previous, this one signed only by Mattern below his written statement, "This letter was carried by myself and Bennett Griffin on our round the world flight from Floyd Bennett field New York to Minsk Russia. (signed) Jimmie Mattern"; accompanied by a postcard-size press photo of Mattern surveying the gathered wreckage of the Century of Progress, Fine to Very Fine. Quite likely a unique form of the only 10 covers carried.
AAMC TO 1167; $1,200.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
Current Bid$500
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Lot 450

1932 (Jul 28-Oct 5), Herndon-Pangborn Attempted Round-the-World Record Flight, cover franked with 2¢ Washington tied by Jul 28 Brooklyn c.d.s. with Croydon Airdrome transit c.d.s. (Jul 30) on the front and Khabarovsk, Russia c.d.s. (Aug 3) on back alongside a violet Russian cachet; a Japanese 3s stamp was added at Tokyo and canceled Oct 2, and, finally, a U.S. 2¢ Yorktown canceled upon arrival at Wenatchee Wash. on Oct 5; violet flight cachet numbers this cover 12 of 75; signed by pilots Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn, Very Fine. Also includes a real photo postcard of the two fliers after landing in Wenatchee.
AAMC TO 1146; $450.
Estimate $500 - 750

Upon landing in Tokyo on July 8, Pangborn and Herndon were arrested and charged with espionage and making an illegal flight because they had flown over military fortifications. The two were fined and placed under house arrest in Tokyo's Imperial Hotel, where they were detained for seven weeks, thus destroying their hopes of beating the around-the-world speed record set by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty only a month earlier. Once released in Tokyo, they were still able to break the record for a non-stop flight from Japan to the U.S.

Also, coincidentally, these covers, canceled in Wenatchee on October 5th, are the second earliest of the non-official pre-first day covers of the 5¢ Yorktown commemorative. Ironically, because there are 75 of them, they are also the commonest of the pre-first days.

Current Bid$475
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Lot 451

1933 (May 15), Attempted Flight, New York - Rome, two covers with all appropriate markings, one mailed back from London, signed by pilots, Cesare Sabelli and George Pond; the other with a Jun 11 Rome receiver on the front, signed only by Sabelli, Fine to Very Fine.
AAMC TO 1207.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Current Bid$130
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Lot 452

1933 (Jun 3), Mattern Attempted Round-the-World Solo Flight, legal-size cover apparently not posted until Jun 21 in Nome, Alaska, where a 3¢ Century of Progress is canceled after Mattern reached Alaska, having crashed in Siberia and eventually rescued and flown to Alaska by a Russian pilot; the cover bears the Jun 4 postmark of Jomfruland, Norway, Mattern's first stop after leaving New York; however it does not bear a Russian stamp or Moscow postmark, but does have the requisite c.d.s.s of Fairbanks (Jul 23), Juneau (Jul 25), and Edmonton (Jul 27); signed by Mattern with a mimeographed magenta Heinmuller "Flown Historical Cover" flight cachet; an 8¢ Winged Globe is tied by a New York G.P.O. duplex of Aug 3 at 2 P.M., the identical stamp and postmark used upon the return of Wiley Post's Round-the-World Solo Flight of Jul 15, which was also a Heinmuller creation, Fine.
AAMC TO 1177 var.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
Current Bid$1,000
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Lot 453

1933 (Jul 15), Attempted New York - Lithuania Flight, cover postmarked Brooklyn, Jul 15, with all appropriate markings and signed by both pilots, Stephen Darius and Stanley Girenas, Very Fine.
AAMC TO 1184.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Current Bid$150
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Lot 454

1936 (Aug 26), Attempted Flight, New York - Lisbon via Brazil, two similar covers, each a special envelope bearing U.S. stamps and a specially overprinted Portuguese stamp (Sanabria 1), with hexagonal "Costa Trans Atlantic Flight/ New York Lisbon" cachet/cancel; both signed by pilot, Joseph Costa, Fine to Very Fine.
AAMC TO 1263.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Current Bid$80
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