Coney's Stamps

National Air Mail Week
May 15-21, 1938
20th Anniversary of Air Mail Service

By Steve Swain

The first scheduled airplane service for mail delivery in the United States began on May 15, 1918 on a route between Washington and New York.

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the advent of airmail, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Postmaster General James Farley established National Airmail Week for May 15-21, 1938 to celebrate and promote the fact the U.S. Postal Service moved mail reliably and with speed.

National Air Week Poster
Post Master General Farley

Air Mail Week Celebration Poster

Postmaster General James A. Farley
Reviewing Celebration Week Mail

C23 Block

Festivities for the celebration week were kicked off with the issuance of a new 6-cent Eagle multi-colored air mail stamp, Scott #C23, on Saturday, May 14th.

Thursday, May 19, was established as the focal day of the celebration. For the next seven days, thousands of communities across the 48 States and most U.S. Territories became involved with their own local activities.


Massachusette and Bristol Covers


San DDimos and Macon Covers

The most coveted of the celebration covers are those mailed from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to destinations via Dayton, Ohio, where the Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the world’s first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight. Dayton was the birthplace of Orville Wright, and where the brothers designed and built their aircraft.

Examples of these distinctive covers are shown below. Each has a Dayton, OH arrival back stamp.

Wright Bros Photo ans two Kitty Hawk Covers

Over 16.2 million letters/covers and 9 thousand parcels were transported by air during National Air Mail Week. Close to 10,000 individual city cachets were prepared, giving each locality a chance to boast about what made their locality proud, special and important.

For a complete listing, and images, of cachets created by each city for each state, visit the Aerodacious web site.