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Selected covers from USS Akron Coast-to-Coast Mail Flight [Z-505}

Featuring the "Air Mail / USS Akron" labels of A.C. Roessler

Please be patient - there are 14 large images on this page.

A article in the AAMS Airpost Journal of February 2001 entitled

'A Rosessler Masterpiece'

prompted the illustration of the following - to further the discussion.

What other comments, covers postcards, labels, etc., do you have, to add to this discussion?

Color illustrations and comments by e-mail to MAPS webmaster or by snail-mail to MAPS Editor George Sioras.

By way of introduction to U.S.S. Akron labels.

From "The Zeppelin Collector."
Jack Knight Air Log, Jul-Sep 1973, p 88.

"On pages 91-92 of the January - March 1973 issue of the ZEPPELIN COLLECTOR we pictured and asked some questions on the "U.S.S.. AKRON" Air Mail labels printed and used by the old time airmail cover dealer A. C. Roessler.

"Member Howard Gilpin kindly sent in the photo illustrated at the left showing this label printed tete beche and what looks to me like 4 different colors? The sheet looks a little dog eared but is an excellent item to own.

"Overall size of sheet is 4" x 5" Member Gilpin does mention the colors in the labels of his sheet. They are GREEN, ORANGE, RED and DARK BLUE. Does any reader have any other colors???

A color rendition of this miniature sheet would be greatly appreciated. - Do you have one?

Coast-to-Coast Postcard

Front of postcard very ordinary – but Akron postcards serviced by Roessler appear to be scarce.

5¢ air mail franking [5¢ letter rate also applied to postcards].

Three-line A.C. Roe rubber stamped address [appears on many illustrated items].

Usual rectangular Coast-to-Coast cachet on front.

Reverse of above postcard
Green Akron label

Printed illustration? photograph? of airship [may be USS Los Angeles] over second printed illustration of Statue of Liberty with plane and ship.

Green label [straight edge at right] tied to cover by three markings:

Usual San Diego, May 11 1932 arrival postmark;

Usual Official Coast-to-Coast oval “(Back Stamp)”

Newark General Delivery arrival postmark [returned to Newark by train]

[In general, comments on the markings identified as “usual” are not repeated.]

Coast-to-Coast Cover
Red Akron label

Red Akron label, perforated on all four sides, tied by rectangular Coast-to-Coast cachet.

Orange Akron label
1¢ 1932 Washington stamp overprinted “Akron / Mail”

Imperforate orange Akron label tied by cachet.

1¢ Washington stamp overprinted “Akron / Mail.”

Stamps applied to above cover includes pair of 1¢ green 1932 Washington stamps with left-most stamp overprinted “Akron / Mail.”

Sufficient franking to pay 5¢ air mail rate without overprinted stamp.
Roessler’s notion seems to have been that overprint was “label” not postage.

[Postal service apparently never challenged “Akron / Mail.” overprint.]

Green Akron label

Green Akron label, with straight edge at right and narrow strip of selvage at top, tied by cachet.

Cover addressed Smith / Raymondville.

On reverse:
Three line A.C. Roe rubber stamped address

Raymondville registered [???] arrival postmark

Blue Akron label

Uncommon Roessler "checkerboard" envelope

Blue Akron label, perforated on all four sides, tied by cachet.

Full outline of USS Akron
Two-line rubber stamp cachet "FIRST MAIL / U.S.S. AKRON"

Addressed Los Angeles; Los Angeles May 12, 1932 arrival postmark on reverse.

Two-line rubber stamp cachet applied at upper right [in lieu of label?]

Full outline of USS Akron

Imprinted blue "label" in lieu of adhesive label

Full outline of USS Akron

Two-line rubber stamp cachet “First Mail / U.S.S. Akron”
Autographed C.E. Rosendahl

Lt Commander [later Rear Admiral] Charles E. Rosendahl was first commanding officer of U.S.S. Akron.

Envelope made of silvered paper
Full outline of USS Akron
Orange Akron label

Two-line rubber-stamped Roessler address originally applied.
Overstruck with typed address of H.K. Weigley.


In a recent discussion of these covers considerable attention was given to the labels. The initial impression one gets, based on the monochrome illustration of a small pane, above, is that labels were produced in panes of four with wide selvage all around. Clearly that did not apply in all cases. Of the six labels shown, one is imperforate, two are perforated on all four sides, and three have a straight edge. Furthermore, one of the labels with a straight edge, on the S.E. Smith cover, has a thin strip of selvage attached to the label – much thinner than depicted in the illustrated pane of four.

The labels, and the various formats in which they seem to have been printed, is a topic that clearly needs further attention. Additional illustrations of labels, and comments on their production, will be appended to this website page as they become available.

Below are two illustrations submitted by Andy Williams

PERFORATED sheet of six etiquettes but with small selvedges

TETE-BECHE imperf Proof printed in four colors

Three years after the original article, APS member Mr. Williams kindly submitted these color images of two different USS Akron sheets. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

The perforated sheet is similar, but not identical to, the monochrome image shown above. The most unusual feature of this sheet is the purple colored etiquette that has not been recorded before.

He was told that Imperf sheets are Extremely rare and only a few exist. Those known are usually not in good condition but both of these sheets are in very good condition.

He would also like an opinion on their value, so any help you provide will be forwarded or you can email him.

** Andy Williams has been offline for the last 2 years, so if you emailed him, the new email above works. **

Updated 27 September 2010
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