Twin-Motored Transport Plane Airmails
On June 25, 1941, the US Post Office Department issued the first in a new series of Airmail stamps picturing a twin-motored transport plane.
Planning for these stamps dates back to 1936. A uniform series of different denominations would cover, singly or in combination, all airmail postage requirements – a neat, practical replacement for stamps issued at various intervals since 1928 that had different sizes, shapes, and designs. The Post Office hoped to make a new series of stamps that was more consistent.
The new series of stamps all featured the same design, differing only in color and denomination. The Post Office felt having the same picture on all airmail stamps would help customers identify them as airmail stamps and the different colors would help distinguish the denominations. They were all perforated 11 x 10½, with the exception of the booklet pane, which was perforated 11. These stamps were intended to cover the various rates in effect for both domestic and overseas airmail service.
The plane on the stamps isn’t a real plane, rather the post office described it as “a representation of a modern transport plane in flight. The stamp’s artist likely took inspiration from the Douglas DC-3, Lockheed Electra, and Beech 18.
The first stamp in the series, the 6¢ carmine, covered domestic airmail service and was issued on June 25, 1941, in Washington, DC.
The second stamp, the 10¢ violet, covered airmail service to areas in the West Indies, as well as Central and South America. It was first issued on August 15, 1941, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The third stamp, the 15¢ brown carmine, was also used for airmail service to areas in the West Indies as well as Central and South America. On August 19,1941, this stamp was first issued in Baltimore, Maryland.
The fourth stamp, the 20¢ bright green, replaced US #C21, covering the rate for trans-oceanic airmail. First issued in Philadelphia, PA, this stamp was available on August 27, 1941.
The fifth stamp, the 30¢ blue, was also used on trans-oceanic airmail. Kansas City, Missouri was the place of first issue on September 25, 2941.
The sixth stamp, the 50¢ orange, replaced US #C22, for use on trans-Pacific airmail. On October 29, 1941, this stamp was issued in St. Louis, Missouri.
The final stamp in the series, the 8¢ olive green, was issued in 1944 to meet the increased postage rates put into effect to help finance World War II. It was first issued on March 21, 1944, at Washington, DC.
These stamps remained in use until October 1, 1946, when the domestic airmail rate was reduced to 5¢ per ounce, and a new series featuring the DC-4 Skymaster was issued.
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