new Lithuania stamp issues
 #925  by Audrius
Issue date: 2013 07 20
654 2.90 Lt – Stephen Darius and Stanley T. Girėnas

Design: Arūnas Banionis. Offset. Art paper. Stamp size 35.5 x 30 mm
Edition: 160,000 stamps. Printed by “Garsų pasaulis“ printing house in Lithuania (Vilnius).

Along with the postage stamp, the first day cover also to be issued.
On 15 July 1933, 6:24 a.m., the American-Lithuanian pilots, Stephen Darius and Stanley T. Girėnas took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York in Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker. After successfully flying non-stop 6,411 km (3,983 miles), pilots crashed, due to undetermined circumstances, 650 km (404 miles) from its destination, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Having crossed the Atlantic, due to adverse weather conditions over Ireland, pilots turned to the North and took the course to Germany via Scotland and the North Sea. While in flight over Berlinchen, the aircraft crashed near the village of Kuhdamm, near Soldin (now the village of Pszczelnik, Poland).

The flight is regarded as one of the most precise in air navigation history, a remarkable achievement considering Lituanica lacked sophisticated navigation equipment and encountered severe weather en route. Lituanica entered the record books for carrying the first Transatlantic airmail delivery, a bag of letters postmarked for Lithuania from the Brooklyn Post Office.

The flight carried mail from the USA (ca 1200 items). After the crash, a bag with letters was brought from Soldin to Kaunas. To honor the pilots, these letters in Kaunas Main Post Office were marked by the special cachet "Nugalėję Atlantą žuvo Lietuvos garbei" (translation: having conquered the Atlantics, died in honor of Lithuania). These crash covers are much sought after by collectors of aerophilately.

The official flight committee issued cover No 387 carried aboard the ill-fated “Lituanica” flight from New York to Kaunas:

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