4¢ Naval Aviation
Issue Date: August 20, 1961
City: San Diego, CA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 1/2
U.S. #1185 commemorates the 50th anniversary of Naval Aviation. Issued the day of the Institute of Aerospace Sciences meeting, the stamp shows the first Navy airplane and the Naval air insignia.
Naval Air Station, North Island –
The Birthplace of Naval Aviation
North Island, in California, first became identified with aviation when legendary aviator Glenn Curtiss opened a flying school there. The school closed with the start of World War I in 1917, and Congress appropriated the land, containing two airfields, to the U.S. Navy. Since that time, many aviation “firsts” have taken place at the Naval Air Station, North Island. These include: the first seaplane flight in 1911, the first parachute jump in 1914, the first non-stop transcontinental flight in 1923, and the first mid-air refueling, also in 1923. The Navy’s first precision flying team, the forefathers of today’s Blue Angels, was based on North Island. This “Felix the Cat” squadron consisted of three planes that performed acrobatic feats.
On August 15, 1963, the House Armed Services Committee officially designated the Naval Air Station as the “Birthplace of Naval Aviation.” Today, the base is part of the largest aerospace-industrial complex in the Navy.