Cachet art sketch for Foreign Airmail Route #20
This is an original sketch for the cachet used on mail carried on the first flight of Foreign Airmail route 20. The American Air Mail Society designated this design “Type F20a.” The design features a Sikorsky S-42 flying boat above an Indian Head coin that has the text “SEATTLE” AND “WASHINGTON” circling the central image. A pair of salmon is shown on either side of the coin. The top of the image is labeled “SEATTLE-JUNEAU ROUTE F.A.M. 20” and the words “FIRST FLIGHT” appear between the aircraft and the coin. The cachet includes the image of a steamship below the coins, with the words “U.S. AIR MAIL” under the ship. The words “DRAWN BY E. L. HASTRY 5-10-40” are printed in pen in the bottom right corner of the sketch.
The Post Office Department designated any contract airmail route flown by a U.S. airline into or from a foreign country as a "Foreign Airmail" route. This image was used on envelopes carried on the first flight of the new Foreign Airmail route (FAM) number 20. Pacific Alaska Airways (PAA) began twice-weekly service on that route on June 20, 1940. PAA used a Sikorsky S-42 flying boat from Seattle, Washington, to Juneau, Alaska. The return flight was delayed from June 21 until June 22 due to bad weather. The airlines began carrying passengers on the route on June 24, 1940.
American Air Mail Society, A Priced Catalogue and Reference Listing of the Airposts of the World, American Airmail Catalog, 6th edition. Mineola, New York, Volume 3, 2004.