Harry Lehman is a retired government aerospace engineer and an airmail history buff, a combination that renders him uniquely qualified to make a rather startling accusation: The U.S. Postal Service has been selling a commemorative U.S. airmail T-shirt that features a Russian airplane on it.
And in case you’re wondering, no, the Russians have never delivered U.S. airmail. They may read our mail, but they’re not supposed to deliver it.
Harry, 76, lives in Fairfax County, Va. His parents ran Beacon Field Airport, an air strip on Route 1 that was an emergency runway for early airmail pilots. He ordered the gray T-shirt from the USPS online store. When he received it, he immediately recognized that the plane depicted under the word “Fly!” bears a striking resemblance to the Tupolev Tu-95, a Soviet strategic bomber known in the west as the Bear.