Cachet art sketch for Foreign Airmail Route 18
This cachet art sketch was made for the first flight of Foreign Airmail Route #18. The cachet art depicts a flying boat traveling through clouds over buildings representing New York City on the left, and London, Great Britain, on the right. Maple leaf and clover designs flank the words “first flight” and the image of a Newfoundland dog’s head. The top text is “NORTHERN TRANS-ATLANTIC.” Text below the flying boat is “f.a.m. 18, UNITED STATES AIR MAIL.” Blue pencil markings to the right side of the image indicate the final size would be 2 ½ inches tall.
This “Northern Route” was the second airmail route to link the United States with Europe. The first, a “Southern Route,” also part of FAM 18, began on May 20, 1939 with a Pan American Airways flying boat that traveled from New York to the Azores, Lisbon and ended in Marseilles, France. This “Northern Route” began just over a month later, with a Pan American Airways flight from New York City to Southampton, England. The flight also stopped at Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada; Botwood, Newfoundland, Canada; and Foynes, Ireland. A Boeing B-314 flying boat named “Yankee Clipper” was used for the inaugural flight, which included the Superintendent of the Airmail Service C. P. Goaddick on board. The flight was held for several days in Shediac due to bad weather.
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 18.