BROWSE OUR
ARCHIVED COLLECTION

DIGITAL COLLECTIONS


SS Sidi Bel Abbes 1942

  • Digital Collection

2001-06-085b

This cover was posted in Oran, Algeria on 4 November 1942 and addressed to Perpignan in the French Pyrenees.  The cachet applied here by the French postal authorities reads:

COURRIER RÉCUPÉRÉ

DANS

UN NAVIRE COULÉ

 

It has been attributed by Hoggarth & Gwynn that mail from Algeria and Morocco posted between 2 and 6 November was put on board the French ship SS Sidi Bel Abbes.  They report that a similar cachet in lower case type and in only two lines was also applied to mail recovered from this incident. From sources such as Lloyd’s Weekly Casualty Reports for 23 November, it is reported that this vessel was amongst those damaged in occupied Oran and even possibly scuttled there, but the date of the incident is unknown, but thought to have been 8 or 9 November 1942.

 

The wartime context of this loss comes in the wake of the Battle of El Alemain commencing on 23 October and allied landings under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower being made at Algiers and Oran on 8 November. Hoggarth and Gwynn estimate that some 10 to 19 covers are known from this incident.

 

The reverse of the cover shows a missing flap and a penned endorsement reading:

Garantie authentique

W King (?)