American Air Mail Society Founded 1923

Lee Downer Award

The Major General Lee Downer Award

The MGEN Lee Downer Award is given annually for the best Contract Air Mail (CAM) article published in the Air Post Journal.
A lifetime member of the American Air Mail Society, the general entered the Air Force in 1964 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was a command pilot with more than 3,500 hours in fighter aircraft. He flew 154 combat missions in Vietnam and commanded a composite wing in Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. His last assignment was as director of operations, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
A prolific writer, Lee authored three books and had a long running column in the Air Post Journal called Treasure Hunting for CAM Covers.
His books included; Victor Alert, a loose memoir of his time on nuclear alert in 1970 Europe, Radio Failure, a fictional story woven around real people and actual events during American military aviation’s formative years, and Airmail Scandal, about the people and events of the 1934 Air Mail scandal.

Lee Downer Awards

2019 Bob Ballzell. “Unusual CAM3 Covers” September 2019 Issue
2020 Vincent Centonza, “A Favorite First Flight Cover, October 2020 Issue