Aviation

1991 29¢ World War II: Civil Defense Mobilizes Americans at Home
December 1, 1941

Founding of the Civil Air Patrol

On December 1, 1941, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), was established in Washington, DC. Unpaid volunteers formed the Civil Air Patrol, using privately owned aircraft and their own funds to support the military.

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2011 44¢ Mercury Project
November 18, 1923

Birth of Alan Shepard

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr was born on November 18, 1923, in Derry, New Hampshire. He was the first American (second person after Yuri Gagarin) to travel into space and the fifth person to walk on the Moon.

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1995 60¢ Eddie Rickenbacker
July 23, 1973

Death of WWI Ace Eddie Rickenbacker 

On July 23, 1973, Eddie Rickenbacker died in Züruch, Switzerland. As a World War I flying ace, he shot down 22 enemy planes and four balloons.

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1988 65¢ Great Americans: H. H. 'Hap' Arnold
June 25, 1886

Happy Birthday Henry “Hap” Arnold

General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold was born on June 25, 1886, in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. He was an early supporter of military air power, and later became the Air Force’s first five-star general.

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2005 37¢ Advances in Aviation: Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
June 22, 1946

First Airmail Carried by Jet

On June 22, 1946, US Airmail was carried by jet for the first time.  The flight was part of an event to showcase how GE’s aviation products could positively impact people’s lives and the future.

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1996 50¢ Jacqueline Cochran
May 11, 1906

Birth of Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida.  The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.

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1961 4¢ Naval Aviation
May 8, 1911

Birth of Naval Aviation

On May 8, 1911, the US Navy purchased its first airplane. This date is celebrated as the birth of US naval aviation.

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1990 50¢ Harriet Quimby
April 16, 1912

First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.  She had a brief, but significant aviation career, becoming a pioneer and inspiration for countless female flyers.

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2004 37¢ US Air Force Academy
April 1, 1954

U.S. Air Force Academy Established

On April 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower created the Air Force Academy to train officers.  During its more than 60 year history, the academy has had over 52,000 graduates move on to become US Air Force officers.

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