Alameda Stamp Commemorates 1st Transpacific Mail Flight

ALAMEDA (KCBS) – Putting a stamp on a letter bound across the Pacific costs only a little more than it did when the China Clipper took off from Alameda Naval Air Station 75 years ago.

Fifty-eight bags of airmail cargo affixed with 25-cent stamps were on the maiden voyage of the U.S. Postal Service flight to Manila, a load heavy enough that the plane’s trajectory could not clear the nascent bridge springing up in the Bay between Oakland and San Francisco.

The China Clipper made a narrow pass beneath the span instead.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Mail coming through the Alameda Post Office on Nov. 22 was canceled with a special stamp commemorating that flight, historic for its crew as well.

The navigator, a man who later disappeared with Amelia Earhart, made stops in Honolulu, Midway, Wake Island and Guam on a journey that lasted seven days. Today delivery with a 98-cent stamp takes only about four days.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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