ZR3 1924 America Flight - Azores drop
On Columbus Day 1924, the German zeppelin LZ126 departed from Friedrichshafen, Germany, to undertake the first transatlantic flight from continental Europe to the Americas. The airship was built as part of war reparations and was designated 'ZR3' (and then later 'Los Angeles') by the United States Navy. It was the only zeppelin airship in the Navy program that did not meet with disaster. The safe delivery of this airship would assure the zeppelin's continuation.
The LZ126 carried about 18,000 pieces of mail on this flight, but only a few pieces of mail received the special treatment received by this postcard. As the airship approached the Azores on October 13, the twenty-seven crew members and four observers learned that they could send a message to let their families and friends know that everything was going well so far. The drop had not been previously announced, so there was no collector-prepared mail. Unfranked cards and letters were sent in two drop bags with two U.S. dollars included to cover expenses. After being found, these were delivered to the German Consulate and received the official seal. The mail was then transported by the steamer "Italos" to Lisbon, where Portuguese stamps were applied before the messages were forwarded to their destinations.
This card was sent by Officer Albert Sammt to his family. Sammt served on zeppelins from the LZ120 Bodensee to the LZ130 Graf Zeppelin II. He survived the Hindenburg disaster.
Ganz, Cheryl. "Los Angeles Azores Drop Mail." In The German Postal Specialist (October 1985): 410-11.