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OTTUMWA NAVAL AIR STATION 70th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE AIR MAIL FLIGHTS

posted Aug 26, 2013, 7:17 PM by Stephen Black

 
Date:   Friday, August 30, 2013
 
11:00 AM:  Stearmans to arrive at Ottumwa Airport , most of them coming from Antique Airplane Assoc. Fly-In at Blakesburg.  The Ottumwa Postmaster (or other post office official) will be on hand at the terminal to "cancel" our commemorative air mail covers with this custom stamp.
 
 
Between 11:00 AM and 12:45 PM the airplanes will be on display at the OTM airport for the public and press.  We will welcome the pilots and hold a small ceremony, which will consist primarily of the postal official "swearing in" the Stearman pilots as official USPS air mail pilots (for one day).  The pilots will also be served refreshments inside the terminal by the Friends of OTM NAS.  Once the postal official has all of our air mail covers cancelled, they will be loaded onto the Stearmans.  At this time we expect that 4-6 Stearmans will be participating in the event. 
 
Around noon another flight of airplanes (not Navy Stearmans) will be arriving at OTM NAS from Antique Airfield.  These are airplanes carrying the AAA's 60th Anniversary commemorative air mail.  Once they land, the airmail they are carrying will be off loaded, taken into the terminal where the postal official with "back stamp" their covers with our cancel stamp (on the back side), and then loaded back onto their airplanes.
 
12:45 PM:  All of the air mail airplanes at OTM NAS (both our Stearmans and the AAA airplanes) will be taking off and heading for the Oskaloosa Airport .  Oskaloosa was one of the OTM NAS "auxiliary fields”, as well as the site of several of the first AAA Fly-Ins.  At Oskaloosa airport all mail will be off loaded from all airplanes and taken into the terminal, where an Oskaloosa post office official will back stamp all the mail with the custom Oskaloosa cancel stamp.
 
2:00PM:  Once the mail is back stamped it will be loaded back onto the airplanes for the return flights, which are targeted to take off from Oskaloosa at 2:00 PM.  The AAA airplanes will be going directly back to Antique Airfield.  At this time we are not sure if our Stearmans will also go directly back to Antique Airfield, or if they will be willing to go back to OTM NAS.  We are planning to discuss this with the pilots before the first takeoff from Ottumwa airport.  Our preference will be for them to return to OTM NAS and drop the mail off to us there, and then they return to Antique Airfield.  However if some prefer they can certainly go directly from Oskaloosa back to Antique Airfield, after their mail bag is put onto one of the Stearmans that will be returning to Ottumwa from Oskaloosa.
 
The event should conclude by 3:00-4:00 PM with everyone back to Antique Airfield.  The flown OTM NAS covers will be available immediately after the Oskaloosa flight lands back at Ottumwa.
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