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Catalog Data

Creator:
Rowe, Basil Lee  Search this
Names:
Pan American Airways Corporation  Search this
Pan American World Airways, Inc.  Search this
West Indian Aerial Express  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1927-1957
bulk 1928-1931
Summary:
This collection consists of first day air mail covers collected by pilot and philatelic enthusiast Basil Lee Rowe, predominantly during his career as an airline pilot for Pan American Airways (PAA) in the Caribbean area in the period 1927-1931. Collection includes covers carried by Charles A. Lindbergh in his Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" during his tour of the Caribbean in February 1928, and covers autographed by many of the early airline pilots who carried them, including Cy Caldwell, Edwin Musik, Caspar D. Swinson, Charles R. Parmelee, and Rowe himself.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of first day air mail covers collected by Basil Rowe, predominantly during his career as a pilot in the Caribbean area. Most of the air mail was carried by West Indian Aerial Express (WIAE) or Pan American Airways (PAA) between Florida and islands in the Caribbean or Caribbean ports in Central and South America. Some of the first day covers are autographed by the pilots of the flights (including Cy Caldwell, Edwin Musik, Caspar D. Swinson, Charles R. Parmelee, and Rowe himself) or other noted aviators such as Dean C. Smith, or public officials such as Theodore Roosevelt III, then Governor of Puerto Rico. One group of covers were carried by Charles A. Lindbergh in the Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" during his tour of the Caribbean in February 1928. Following the covers is an annotated price list; note that not all items listed are part of this collection. Also included at the end of the collection are PAA forms used by two non-PAA pilots for flights inbound to Miami, Florida, from Havana, Cuba, in July 1931: James Goodwin Hall in his Lockheed Altair "The Crusader" (r/n NR-15W), and Frank M. Hawks in his Travel Air Mystery Ship "Texaco 13" (r/n NR-1313).
Arrangement:
Air mail covers are arranged in chronological order; documents appear following the covers at the end of the collection.
Biographical / Historical:
Basil Lee Rowe (1896-1973) enjoyed a long and successful career in aviation, initially as a military exhibition pilot, barnstormer, air racer, charter operator, flight instructor, aircraft salesman, and rumrunner, before moving to the West Indies to start an airline, the short-lived West Indian Aerial Express, bought out by Pan American Airways in 1928. Rowe became a pioneering senior pilot for Pan Am, flying with them for 28 years before his retirement in 1956.
Related Materials:
See related collection Basil Lee Rowe Collection, NASM.XXXX.0019.
Provenance:
Basil Lee Rowe via Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, Gift, 1965, NASM.XXXX.0487
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Airlines  Search this
Air mail service  Search this
Air mail stamps -- United States  Search this
Citation:
Basil Lee Rowe First Day Air Mail Covers, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0487, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0487
See more items in:
Basil Lee Rowe First Day Covers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0487