WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Postal Service will honor the beginning of airmail service by dedicating two United States Air Mail Forever stamps this year.
The first commemorates the pioneering spirit of the brave pilots who first flew the mail in the early years of aviation.
The first-day-of-issue ceremony for this stamp will take place May 1, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view the ceremony live at Facebook.com/USPS.
On May 15, 1918, in the midst of World War I, a small group of Army pilots delivered mail along a route that linked Washington, Philadelphia, and New York, initiating the world’s first regularly scheduled airmail service.
The United States Post Office Department, the predecessor to the U.S. Postal Service, took charge of the U.S. Air Mail Service later that summer, operating it from Aug. 12, 1918, through Sept. 1, 1927. Airmail delivery, daily except on Sundays, became part of the fabric of the American economy and spurred growth of the nation’s aviation industry, post office officials note.
The second stamp will commemorate this milestone with its first-day-of-issue to take place later this summer.
Both stamps, printed in the intaglio print method — a design transferred to paper from an engraved plate — depict the type of plane typically used in the early days of airmail, a Curtiss JN-4H biplane.
The biplane was also featured on the stamps originally issued in 1918 to commemorate the beginning of regularly scheduled airmail service, officials noted.
The United States Air Mail stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First Class Mail one ounce price.