Basil Lee Rowe First Day Air Mail Covers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0487
Creators:
Rowe, Basil Lee
Dates:
1927-1957
bulk 1928-1931
Languages:
Multiple languages
This collection is predominantly in
English
, with some
Spanish
language materials.
Physical Description:
0.05 Cubic feet
1 folder
Repository:
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
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
Arrangement
Air mail covers are arranged in chronological order; documents appear following the covers at the end of the collection.

Biographical / Historical
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.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Melissa A. N. Keiser, 2020.
Author
Melissa A. N. Keiser
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Basil Lee Rowe via Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, Gift, 1965, NASM.XXXX.0487

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
Basil Lee Rowe First Day Air Mail Covers, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0487, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airlines Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Air mail service Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Air mail stamps -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pan American Airways Corporation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pan American World Airways, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
West Indian Aerial Express Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/