A Brief History
The submarine, USS Barbero, was employed to launch a Regulus cruise missile, normally armed with a nuclear warhead but this time carrying Post Office containers, from the Atlantic Ocean to Naval Station Mayport in Florida.
The 22-minute flight of the missile accurately delivered the commemorative “mail” enclosed, each piece addressed to President Eisenhower and other government officials. While the test was technically successful, no such program could be cost effective enough to use this system as a regular delivery method.
Previous proposals and attempts to send mail via artillery or rockets started as far back as 1810 and the idea continued to fascinate mailmen through the 20th Century.
Question for students (and subscribers): Will we ever really use missile mail? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Osborne, Linda Barret. Who’s Got Mail?: The History of Mail in America. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2023.
Stamps, Christ. Rocket-Mail Card Book. Christ Stamps, 2009.
The featured image in this article, USS Barbero first day commemorative cover, is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
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