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Collins FDC Catalog


S5502 / Scott 5066

Distinguished Service Cross

Navy Cross

Cover Announcement 

At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States Navy had ten airships commonly known as blimps. Remembering the airship anti-submarine success from World War I, the Navy command immediately requested new modern blimps. Also proposed to Congress was the development of a lighter-than-air station program for the expansion of new blimp bases.

At the outbreak of the war, naval airship station Lakehurst, New Jersey, was the headquarters for airship operations and remained so for the duration. In July of 1941 based on global hostilities, Congress passed a bill authorizing the construction of eight facilities that could accommodate 48 airships. Huge hangars were then constructed at Lakehurst, Moffet, Weymouth, and Weeksville Naval Air Stations.

There is an extremely significant personal connection to this cover to me. From 1942 to 1944, airship naval personnel grew from 430 to 12,400. Of these, about 1.400 were pilots, 3,000 were flight crew members, and the remainder were support personnel. Linda's dad, Bill Hodge, was a flight crew member. The personal significance does not end there however, Linda was actually born at Lakehurst Naval Air Station where Bill was stationed. He was from Minnesota and met and married Linda's mom Dorothy while serving there. So. the happy ending to the story is that, as a consequence of the naval airship progrcm expansion. Linda and I met in New Jersery, and the resuits were many happy continuing years together, our wonderful growing family, and the Collins First Day pathway that has been and will be traveled. Bill is pictured in his airship flight uniform on page 179 of the Collins book.

From 1942 until 1945, one hundred and fifty-four blimps were built for the U.S. Navy. My individually hand painted cachets show a large blimp on anti-submarine patrol in a mist-shrouded sky. Choppy seas below harbor a sub cruising on the surface. The New Navy Cross Cover is now available. Collins #S5502 at $15.00.

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