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USSR Stamps

Airmail Stamps of 1931-1934


Airmail Stamp of 1931 - Gray Blue Color Error (SC. #C23a)


The airmail USSR stamps of 1931 to 1933 feature two main subjects, aeronautical achievements and AIRSHIPS, both German and Russian manufactured.



The five major type airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued between 1931 and 1932.

The designs features airships of the Soviet Union, and they are as follows:

  • 10 K. - Allegory of "Airship Communication from the Tundra to the Steppes".
  • 15 K. - Airship over the Dnieprostroi Dam in the Ukrainian SSR.
  • 20 K. - Airship over Lenin Mausoleum.
  • 50 K. - Airship above a map of the USSR.
  • 01 R. - Airship construction.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that have WMK 170 and that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 10 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C15) - Dark Violet.
  • 15 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C16) - Gray Blue.
  • 20 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C17) - Dark Carmine.
  • 50 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C18) - Black Brown.
  • 01 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C19) - Dark Green.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that have WMK 170 and that are perforated, are as follows:

  • 10 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C20) - Dark Violet.
  • 15 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C21) - Gray Blue.
  • 20 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C22) - Dark Carmine, Light Red.
  • 50 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C23) - Black Brown, Gray Blue (ERROR).
  • 01 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C24) - Dark Green.



The 15 K. denomination stamp shown above was re-issued in gray black during 1932.

The stamp was printed on unwatermarked paper, and it comes in four separation formats, as noted below.  The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 15 K.  (1932 - Perf. 12 1/2 - Sc. #C25) - Gray Black.
  • 15 K.  (1932 - Perf. 10 1/2 - Sc. #C25a) - Gray Black.
  • 15 K.  (1932 - Perf. 14 - Sc. #C25b) - Gray Black.
  • 15 K.  (1932 - Imperforate - Sc. #C25c) - Gray Black.



The four airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued in July 1931.  The stamps are printed on paper with WMK 170.

The common design features a polar bear observing the airship "Graf Zeppelin" and the icebreaker "Malygin" transferring mail at the North Pole. 

This event occurred during the July 24-31, 1931 Polar Flight of the Graf Zeppelin.  The airship carried about 50,000 philatelic cards and letters, weighing 660 pounds!

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are imperforate, are as follows:

  • 30 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C26) - Dark Violet.
  • 35 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C27) - Dark Green.
  • 01 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C28) - Gray Black.
  • 02 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C29) - Deep Ultramarine.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 12 x 12 1/2, are as follows:

  • 30 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C30) - Dark Violet.
  • 35 K.  (1931 - Sc. #C31) - Dark Green.
  • 01 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C32) - Gray Black.
  • 02 R.  (1931 - Sc. #C33) - Deep Ultramarine.



The two airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued on August 26, 1932 for the Second International Polar Year.  The stamps are printed on paper with WMK 170.

The common design features a map of the polar region, an airplane, and the icebreaker "Sibiryakov".

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 12, are as follows:

  • 50 K.  (1932 - Sc. #C34) - Carmine Rose.
  • 01 R.  (1932 - Sc. #C35a) - Green.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2, are as follows:

  • 50 K.  (1932 - Sc. #C34a) - Carmine Rose.
  • 01 R.  (1932 - Sc. #C35) - Green.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are perforated 10 1/2 x 12, are as follows:

  • 50 K.  (1932 - Sc. #C34b) - Carmine Rose.



The three commemorative airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued on November 3, 1933 to celebrate the Ascent into the Stratosphere by Soviet aeronauts on September 30, 1933.  The stamps are printed on paper with WMK 170, and they are perforated 14.

The common design features a view of the Stratostat "USSR-1".

The Soviet Air Force's USSR-1 was designed to carry a three man crew and to perform scientific studies of the stratosphere.  The USSR-1 ascended to a record-breaking 60,698 feet, and the gondola made a soft-landing at Kolomna, about 68 miles from the launch site.  The crew members were Georgy A. Prokofiev (1902-1939), Konstantin D. Godunov (1892-1965), Ernst Birnbaum (1894-1965).  The gondola is on display at the Central Air Force Museum in Monino.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1933 - Sc. #C37) - Ultramarine.
  • 10 K.  (1933 - Sc. #C38) - Carmine.
  • 20 K.  (1933 - Sc. #C39) - Violet.



The five commemorative airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued on February 1934 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soviet Civil Aviation and the Soviet Airmail Service.  The stamps are perforated 14.

The designs feature an airplane over the following:

  • 05 K. - Furnaces of Kuznetsk.
  • 10 K. - Oil wells.
  • 20 K. - A collective farm.
  • 50 K. - Map of the Moscow-Volga Canal project.
  • 80 K. - An arctic cargo ship.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that have WMK 170, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C40) - Ultramarine.
  • 10 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C41) - Green.
  • 20 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C42) - Carmine.
  • 50 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C43) - Dull Blue.
  • 80 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C44) - Purple.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that are unwatermarked, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C45) - Ultramarine.
  • 10 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C46) - Green.
  • 20 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C47) - Carmine.
  • 50 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C48) - Dull Blue.
  • 80 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C49) - Purple.



The three commemorative airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued on September 15, 1934 in memory of the three aeronauts that died in the Osoaviakhim-1 Stratospheric Balloon disaster.

Each of the stamps features a Stratospheric Balloon, with a portrait of each of the deceased aeronauts.

On the maiden flight of the Osoaviakhim-1, on January 30, 1934, the balloon ascended to a height of 72,000 feet.  During its descent, at an altitude of 39,000 feet, the balloon lost its buoyancy and plunged into an uncontrolled fall, disintegrating in the upper atmosphere.  The three aeronauts were killed by the impact of the gondola with the ground below.  The aeronauts were Ilya Usyskin (1910-1934), Andrey Vasenko (1899-1934), and Pavel Fedosenko (1898-1934).  Subsequent balloon flights were kept at under 52,000 feet, and the stratospheric balloon program was finally canceled in June 1940.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that have WMK 170 and that are perforated 11, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C50) - Violet Brown.
  • 10 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C51) - Brown.
  • 20 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C52) - Ultramarine.

The catalog attributes, for stamps that have WMK 170 and that are perforated 14, are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C50) - Violet Brown.
  • 10 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C51) - Brown.
  • 20 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C52) - Ultramarine.



The five airmail USSR stamps shown above were issued on October 20, 1934 celebrating USSR airships.  The stamps have WMK 170, and they are perforated 14.

The designs are as follows:

  • 05 K. - Airship "Pravda" leaving hanger.
  • 10 K. - An airship landing.
  • 15 K. - Airship "Voroshilov".
  • 20 K. - A side view of an airship.
  • 30 K. - Airship "Lenin".

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 05 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C53) - Red Orange.
  • 10 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C54) - Claret.
  • 15 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C55) - Brown.
  • 20 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C56) - Black.
  • 30 K.  (1934 - Sc. #C57) - Ultramarine.





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USSR Stamps - Airmail Stamps of 1931-1934






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WMK 170
Greek Border & Rosettes


The watermark shown above is featured on many of the airmail stamps described on this webpage.  It will be referred to in the descriptions as "WMK 170".