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Airmail And Flight Covers: Flight Covers: Airmail Flight Covers - Various  
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Scott #
Quality & Description
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US$
241527
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AAMC #108b, September 5, 1918, early experimental flight from New York to Chicago, with stops at Lock Haven PA, Cleveland OH, and Bryan OH. This cover was carried from New York to Cleveland. Franked by 16c green Biplane #C2. Mailed by the "Aerial League of America" and with nice blue "AERO / MAIL" large winged handstamp. Cancellation as illustrated in AAMS catalog: Violet oval "N.Y. CHIC. / AERO MAIL / 9-5-1918 / FIRST TRIP". Cleveland Sep 6 backstamp as expected. The cover was roughly opened, and since slightly repaired, in the area of the stamp, but the stamp itself is undamaged and F-VF, tied to the cover by two light strikes of the cancellation. The catalog states "Experimental flight by Army Pilots Max Miller and E.W. Gardner in Army planes. Miller was forced down several times... Gardner... was also forced down several times.." It sounds like a rough trip, but both planes made it to Chicago and then back to New York. The 1990 AAMS price supplement values any leg of this flight at $150. The 2020 Scott value of the used stamp is $30 and $55 on most common cover -- this is much scarcer!
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49.00

241734
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AAMC Crash Cover #290106, 1929 January 6: Fort Crook Nebraska (now near/at Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue), 12:48 AM; Boeing Air Transport, Boeing 40 aircraft; CAM-18 San Francisco to Chicago. The pane of pilot Norman Potter struck a tree as he was landing. The pilot was injured, but survived. The plane was destroyed by fire. 235 pounds of mail, burned and charred, was salvaged and forwarded from Omaha with 2-line cachet in purple. The mail was forwarded, usually in a official post office "penalty" envelope, with an included explanatory note from the Omaha post office (and/or [?] sometimes a Chicago post office note for mail they handled). This example is extremely nice and attractive with the violet handstamp, the stamps okay and away from the burned area, with the Omaha notice, and with the original "penalty" envelope. It is not often that all the components are present. The AAMC lists the crash cover and the notice with two different prices ($65 each); I do not know if those prices are additive, but I have assumed they are not. This example is remarkably complete and in remarkably nice quality, thus it deserves some premium.
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79.00

242341
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U.S. Scott #C11 [1928 5c Airplane and Beacon airmail] (F-VF) on 1930 CRASH COVER, AAMC #300110UT, 1930 January 10. AAMC 6th Edition states: "Cedar City, Utah -- 2:35 A.M. -- Western Air Express -- CAM-4. Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Pilot Maurice Graham KILLED [my emphasis]. Plane crashed into mountain of Wabash Range and was not found until June 24. All 648 lbs. of mail was salvaged undamaged [!!] and returned to Los Angeles, where it received "Return to Writer / Unclaimed" machine cancel [with pointing hand, which are actively collected] in green [!!] ink, dated June 28, 1930, 10:00 A.M. and a cachet [2-line handstamp reading "Delay due to wrecked mail plane / January 10, 1930."] in purple, magenta or black." This example bears the PURPLE version of the handstamp. (Since there are three colors, presumably all applied on the same day(s) by at least three postal workers, this marking may have at least three sub-types that go beyond just the color differences.) Very neat and attractive small-sized decorative cover from an E.F. Robbins in Pasadena, CA to a Jas. T. Kilbreth in New York, NY. Remarkably good condition considering it crashed into a mountain and was out (in a mail bag) in the elements for over five months. It is also ironic that the stamp pictures a beacon built for the purpose of guiding mail planes, but apparently there was no such beacon in the area that this plane crashed. This particular stamp issue is very actively pursued by many collectors and such an interesting use of it makes it worth far more than the modest $45 1998 value staged in the most recent, but 22 year old, edition of AAMC 6th edition.
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100.00

241324
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U.S. Scott #C12 x6 (4-block and pair) [5 cent Globe and Wings, Perf 11 x 11 Flat Plate] (Fine, F-VF) on 1930 FAM Route 10 (actually listed in the catalog for FAM 6 carried under contract for FAM 10) first flight cover leg "ST. THOMAS / V.I. / #1 duplex" (U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS) to FRENCH GUIANA. AAMS FAM #F6-42a (5th edition, 1981); 581 pieces of mail carried on this leg. Originated and canceled 4 October 1930 at "PHILADELPHIA / GERMANTOWN STA.", via Miami, to ST. THOMAS where it was held for the 11 November flight -- and then RE-CANCELED at ST. THOMAS. Arrived "CAYENNE / GUYANE-FRANCAISE"; the arrival occurred on 12 November, but the mail was not backstamped until 20 November pending instructions from Pairs (according to AAMS 5th edition). The origination of the service was planned for 21 October, but was delayed due to a revolution in Brazil (the endpoint of the service). From Cayenne, instructions routed the cover back to Germantown instead of onward to Brazil, but there are no further postmarks. Two different airmail labels: international blue label covering an ornate domestic label. Very interesting and attractive. Early first flight covers involving St. Thomas are unusual -- this was just 12 years after the Danes sold DWI to the U.S.
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36.00

241325
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U.S. Scott #C9 [1927 20 cent Planes and Map] and C10 [1927 10 cent Lindbergh] (VF, F-VF) on 1931 FAM Routes 5 and 6 first flight cover leg "ST. THOMAS / V.I. / #1 duplex" (U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS) to MATURIN, VENEZUELA. AAMS FAM #F6-79 (5th edition, 1981). Originated and canceled 10 February 1931 at ST. THOMAS and with 11 November violet handstamp. Large and ornate, violet arrival undated handstamp on reverse. Attractive violet handstamped cachet picturing a plane in flight and outline of South America, with the text "COMPLETING THE LINDBERGH CIRCLE". (Lindbergh was involved in pioneering the Central and Northern South America routes.) Very interesting and attractive. Early first flight covers involving St. Thomas are unusual -- this was just 13 years after the Danes sold DWI to the U.S. A scarcer flight cover.
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39.00

241735
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ATOMIC BOMB TEST: Operation Crossroads; first test, Bikini Atoll; Bomb "Gilda" (MK III); Test Name: "Able". Plane: B-29 Superfortress, named "Daves Dream", number on plane 7354. (Plane name formerly "Big Stink", THIS WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC AIRCRAFT THAT FLEW ON THE NAGASAKI ATOMIC BOMB MISSION; from this plane the pictures were taken of the Nagasaki bomb drop.) Cover is a small-size airmail envelope with blue-printed cachet artist redition of a bomb test, with additional typewritten text. Mailed by William Larkin, Saff Cmdr. JTF-1, on the USS Albermarle. With additional typewritten text: "I hereby certify that this letter was flowin in B-29 #4427354 on the Atomic Bomb Drop July 1, 1946" and pen-signed John R. Sutherland ... Bomb Commander". Sutherland was the Air Force technical representative for the project as well as the bomb commander for "Able Mission". [A U.S. Air Force biography of Sutherland is encluded with this cover.] This cover is missing the back flap, but there were no markings on the reverse. Enclosed is a note from the sender Mr. Larkin, as well as a newspaper clipping related to his career in the nuclear field. Closely related, signed, philatelic items from this early atomic test are scarce. On December 13, 2017, Rumsey Auctions sold lot 245 for $800; it is a different type of item (from an Army Ground Unit that were there to experience the effects of the test) -- however, it indicates the scarcity and value of this material. The only significant Atomic Test item that I have been able to offer in 46 years.
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800.00

242140
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Scott #C53 [1959 7c Alaska Statehood airmail] (two, VF) on March 20/21, 1959, DOUBLE FIRST FLIGHT cover flown (AM-2) by TWA from San Francisco to New York and back. TWA was the first to make this cross-country direct jet (Boeing 707) flight with no stops. AAMC #J-48f/49f. While normal envelopes on this flight are not unusual, this is an exceptional mailpiece made by TWA that flew BOTH DIRECTIONS and served as a promotional item for TWO. It is a large sheet, folded in half and then in thirds, with two of the third-panels serving as the address panels. It was re-folded, to put the other panel facing out, for the return trip. I have not previously seen this item, or even anything quite like it.
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24.00

242141
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Scott #C35 [1947 15c NYC, Statue of Liberty airmail] (VF) on October 2 1957, FIRST POLAR FLIGHT cover flown (FAM-27) by TWA from Los Angeles to Rome, over the North Pole. AAMC #F27-141 with green cachet. 3027 pieces of mail carried. While has only a modest catalog value, this North Pole overflight cover is seldom offered compared to those flown by SAS, which sell at a much higher price level.
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8.00

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