The Post Office Department issued the 5-cent DC-4 Skymaster stamp (Scott C32, large format) on September 25, 1946. Because the rate did not take effect until October 1, 1946, a first day cover required two stamps or one stamp and a 3-cent stamp to make up the eight-cent rate.
Effective October 1, 1946, the domestic airmail rate fell from eight cents per ounce to five cents per ounce. Most significantly, this rate applied to United States possessions and territories for mail to the US mainland For most, this resulted in major cost reductions. This rate remained in effect until January 1, 1949, when it rose to six cents per ounce.
Prior to the new rate, an airmail letter of one ounce from the Hawaiian territory was ten cents per half ounce to the mainland. After October 1, 1946, this became five cents per ounce. This resulted in a savings of fifteen cents for each one-ounce letter.
The Post Office Department printed 864,753,100 stamps using the rotary press, intaglio plates of two hundred. Distribution was in panes of fifty, perforated 11 x 10 1/2.
The Post Office Department actively promoted "Nickel Airmail" in an effort to increase volume during the postwar era. Volume did increase by twenty-six percent in the thirty post offices handling seventy-five percent of the nation's airmail in the first fifteen days of the new rate.