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Service Badges

Airmail Service chest badge, number 1

Description:

This is a badge issued by the Post Office Department's airmail service office. Badges were issued to pilots, mechanics, ground crew, and officials who worked at postal airfields across the country. The Department ran the service from 1918 to 1926.

This badge, numbered one, was issued to Max Miller, the first airmail pilot hired by the Post Office Department. Miller died when his mail airplane caught fire in midair and crashed near New York's Hazelhurst airfield on September 1, 1920.

On August 12, 1918, the Post Office Department took full control of the newly-created U.S. Airmail Service. Control of the service was placed under Second Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger's office. The Department ran the service from top to bottom - hiring pilots, obtaining airplanes, and creating the infrastructure for airmail flyways. Unlike letter carriers, airmail pilots did not deliver the mail, but were responsible for flying mail sacks and bags between cities. The pilots wore their own clothing for flying, regardless of weather, until 1924, when the Department provided them with winter flying gear. The airmail badge was often the only item carried by an airmail pilot or mechanic that identified him as a postal employee.

Date:
1918
Markings:
Aerial Mail Service / U.S. / 1
Medium:
metal
Museum ID:
1982.0157.590
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Additional Records
  • Postal clerk chest badge, number 8444
  • Postal clerk chest badge, number 8445
  • Postal clerk chest badge, number 8446
  • Postal clerk chest badge, number 9811
  • Postal employee chest badge, number 2436
  • Postal employee chest badge, number 3266
  • Postal employee chest badge, number 5506
  • Postal employee chest badge, number 592
  • Airmail Service chest badge, number 1
  • Airmail Service chest badge, number 809
  • City letter carrier cap badge
  • City letter carrier cap badge, number 1
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