The Post Office Department issued the 5-cent DC-4 Skymaster stamp (Scott C33, small format) on March 26, 1947.
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. The smaller stamp was issued for two reasons, user convenience and as cost saving.
Instead of two hundred stamps per plate, the Post Office Department could now get four hundred per plate for the same price from the printer.
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 Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced 971,903,700 stamps. It used the rotary press, intaglio plates of four hundred. Distribution was in panes of one hundred, perforated 10 1/2 x 11.
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.