The Wreck & Crash Mail Society




By Ken Sanford


Over the years, there have been a number of listings of air crashes & covers, all of which prove valuable in checking and verifying crashes as well as determining if any cover survived the crashes.  This is a listing of the ones I know about or have a copy of.  If any members know of others, please let me know so we can inform the other members. My email is: , and my fax number is +1 203 888 9237.




  1. Défricheurs du Ciel (Pioneers of the Sky), by Jean Brijon


This was compiled in France and published in serial form in a philatelic magazine “l’écho de la timbrologie”.  I am not sure if I have a complete copy, but it runs from 1919 to 1970.  It covers mostly crashes of French airlines or those which occurred in France or French Territories.  The listings are in French, but with the aid of a French dictionary, it is easy to interpret.


  1. Foreign Listings Through 1939, compiled by Harold A. Jones


This was published as part of the American Air Mail Society (AAMS) book “ Crash Covers, An Aerophilatelic Challenge”, by Joseph L. Eisendrath.   It lists crashes from around the world except in the USA, for the period from 1919 through 1939.  It was good for its time, but since it was published, many more crashes and covers have come to light.


  1. The Airletters in Accidents, by J. LePileur & E. Lambert


This was originally in French and was translated by Eisendrath and included in the AAMS book.  It covers the period July 1922 though June 1947.  It also is incomplete, but useful as a guide to French and related crashes.


  1. Domestic & Foreign Crashes Not Otherwise Listed


This was also listed in the Eisendrath book.  It is a list of accident which were not covered by the Jones and LePileur & E. Lambert listings, was also included in the Eisendrath book.  Copies of the Eisendrath book are becoming harder to find, but they do come on the market from time to time.


  1. Listing of Crash Mail in Colombia, compiled by Brian Moorhouse


This was an unpublished list, compiled about twenty years ago by Moorhouse, who is a British dealer specializing in Latin American airmail covers.  It is also incomplete, but nevertheless useful for checking information on Colombian crashes.




  1. The American Air Mail Catalogue, published by the American Air Mail Society ( and now sold by the American Philatelic Society (


── Canadian Air Mail Catalogue


This is a 552 page catalogue covering all aspects of Canadian aerophilately, including crash covers to, from or within Canada.  It prices covers from all crashes from which mail is known.


── American Air Mail Catalogue, Volume 1


This lists all crashes within the USA, crashes of flights which were to or from the USA, crashes by U.S. airlines outside the USA, and military crashes with a U.S. connection.  It also lists the dates & places in the U.S. where crashes were know to have occurred, but where no covers are known.  It prices covers from all crashes from which mail is known.


  1. Irish Crash Airmails, by Ronny Vogt


This is a book, which was written by Vogt, a Swiss specialist in Irish airmails, by the Irish Airmail Society in 1997.  It lists all known crashes with an Irish connection, those within Ireland as well as outside of Ireland.


  1. Recovered Mail, Vol. 1 – 1910-1936 & Vol 2 – 1937-1988, by Henri Nierinck


This is the “bible” for worldwide air crashes, except those within the USA, which are well covered by the American Air Mail Catalogue.  It was published in 1995 by Nierinck, who was a well known Belgian crash covers collector.  It is in French & English, and shows all known varieties of cachets, labels, post office mimeograph explanations, and other crash markings.  It includes a pricing supplement, which prices all cachet varieties, where mail is known, and items have come onto the market at some point in time.  The American Air Mail Society recently acquired the rights to the Nierinck Catalog and is in the process of updating it.  A few copies of the 2 volumes are still available.  Contact me for details.  Kendall C. Sanford


  1. Air Crash Mail of Imperial Airways & Predecessor Airlines, by Kendall C. Sanford


This was written by me and published by The Rossiter Trust in England.  It lists all known crashes of Imperial Airways and its predecessor airlines, and shows all known varieties of cachets, labels, post office mimeograph explanations, and other crash markings.  It also includes a list of all the aircraft, including registration numbers, of Imperial aircraft which crashed, as well as a list of all the pilots involved in Imperial crashes.  This is still available from me. See:, then click on Book List


  1. Hindenburg Crash Mail – The Search Goes On, by Arthur Falk


This listed and described all known covers which survived the Hindenburg crash on May 6, 1937.  It should be used with caution however, as a number of covers shown, which Falk claimed were genuine, have turned out to be fakes.  Copies of this book come up on eBay and other sources from time to time.  Contact me if you are looking for a copy.  Kendall C. Sanford


  1. A History of Wreck Covers, by A.E. Hopkins


This book was published in 1966.  It contained listings and descriptions of air crashes, train wreck & shipwrecks—mostly with a British connection.  It is very incomplete and way out of date, especially since the publication of Recovered Mail by Henri Nierinck and my book Air Crash Mail of Imperial Airways & Predecessor Airlines.  If a dealer quotes this book, they have no idea what they are doing.


  1. Les Marques Aéropostal, II – Les Aerogrammes Français Accidentés, by J. Le Pileur, in collaboration with E. Lambert & H. Truc


This was published in May 1939 and was a listing of all known French crashes and covers up to that year.  It was published in French, and gives a description of each crash, and shows the known cachets.  It is incomplete since Henri Nierinck published his “Recovered Mail” but is important for the early French crashes.

  1. Crash Covers, An Aerophilatelic Challenge, by Joseph L. Eisendrath, published by the American Air Mail Society, 1979

Worldwide listings of air crashes and details of recovered, cachets & labels, etc. Includes American Air Mail Catalogue U.S. crash listings without prices.  Replaced by Recovered Mail, by Henri Nierinck, which is much more complete.  Still one of the authoritative crash cover references. Long out of print and scarce.   I have an extra copy for sale.  See:, then click on Book List




There are a number of non-philatelic listings of crashes and books which are very useful in determining if a crash occurred on a specific date and location.  The ones I know about are listed below.


  1. World Directory of Airliner Crashes, by Terry Denham


This is a comprehensive listing of more than 10,000 passenger aircraft accidents.  It was published in 1996 in England.  There is also an update listing which was not published, but I was lucky enough to get a copy.  (I can provide copies of this update for US$6.00 plus postage)  This is a very useful book for checking on specific crashes.


  1. Early Airlines – Accidents List – 1926-1941, published by the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS)


This was published in the Fall 1987 issue of the AAHS Journal.  It gives brief details of each known crash.


  1. World Airline Accident Summary, published by the Civil Aviation Authority in England


This is published for each year and provides quite a lot of information for each crash.  I don’t know how far back they go.


  1. Casualty Compendium, published by Air-Britain


This is a listing of crashes, which is published in Air-Britain Aviation World from time to time for a recent period.  They do not have a complete listing available.


  1. Airlife’s Register Of Aircraft Accidents, Compiled by Antonion Bordoni, Published by Airlife Publishing Ltd. In England


This provides facts, statistics and analysis of civil accidents since 1951.


If any Society members would like further information on any of the publications or listings I have included above, please let me know.  Some of them are still available or can be photocopied. Ken Sanford, 613 Championship Drive, Oxford, CT - USA 06478-3128, Fax +1 203 888 9237, email:




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revised 16 Dec. 2014