Canada Post marks 100 Years of RCAF with ‘commemorative envelope’

Canada Post issued today a commemorative envelope marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

While thousands of Canadians served in the British flying services during the First World War, it wasn’t until after the war that military aviation became a permanent part of Canada’s defence organization. In 1920, the government authorized a temporary Canadian Air Force, and members served on a part-time basis. After receiving the “Royal” designation from King George V, the RCAF became a permanent component of the Canadian military on April 1, 1924.

The RCAF is tasked with defending and protecting Canadian and North American airspace. It also regularly provides assistance in search-and-rescue emergencies and natural disasters in Canada, and has contributed to major Canadian military deployments in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Last autumn, Canada Post faced scrutiny from aerophilatelists when it was revealed that its 2024 stamp lineup did not include an official stamp commemorating the milestone. Instead, the stamp affixed to the newly introduced commemorative envelope highlights First World War pilot William George Barker, VC, who holds the distinction of being the most decorated military member in the history of both Canada and the British Empire. This stamp originally appeared as part of Canada Post’s “Canadians in Flight” issue, which debuted in March 2019 and comprised five distinct designs honouring pilots, designers, and aircraft that made aviation history.

A commemorative envelope is a postal collectible. As such, it is not mailable. Canada Post says it has a tradition of issuing commemorative envelopes to commemorate events or dates of national or international significance.

The back of the commemorative envelope marking the 100th anniversary today of the RCAF.

The front of the commemorative envelope features a collage of official Department of National Defence photographs. The photos provide a historical overview of the aircraft and work of the RCAF in the past 100 years.

Canada Post and the RCAF have collaborated closely on the creation of this commemorative envelope, including working together to select the various images of the featured RCAF aircraft.

The back of the envelope shows the RCAF’s roundel, a red maple leaf surrounded by white in a blue ring. The current design, with a stylized 11-point maple leaf, was introduced in 1965.

The commemorative envelope is cancelled in Borden, Ont. Canadian Forces Base Borden, formerly RCAF Station Borden, is the historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force and home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces.

The commemorative envelope is available at and can be ordered through postal outlets across Canada.


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