courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
via email from Dr. Joe Odziana, 4-29-08
FWIW, I was googling Joe R. Forkner and received only 2 hits, one of them being yours seeking info.
I'm an avid stamp/postal history collector and came across a First Day cover (FDC) commemorating the 1935 centennial celebration of Michigan's statehood. Since Joe has a possible (Dearborn,) MI connection (my wife's hometown), I suspect his interest in the MI FDC as a probable stamp collector.
The cover has a fancy printed return address of "Forkner 4212-14 University Way Seattle" and is addressed (typewriter) to himself as "Joe R. Forkner 4214 University Way Seattle, Washington. It is sent "VIA AIRMAIL" with a block of 4 stamps. The first day cancel tieing the stamps to the cover is "Lansing MICH Nove 1, 1935". I imagine an aviator wouldn't have anything less then airmail delivery for his collectible.
The contents of the envelope is a mimeographed letter titled "FIRST AVIATION DIVISION VN, Squadron 15 RD 13, Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Seattle, Washington" and dated "30 April 1934." The letter was added as a "filler" so that the USPO wouldn't tag the cover as "No Contents, etc" which disatracts from the eye appeal to the collector of FDC's. The message addresses the need to perfect the Squadron in the details of an annual inspection and the need for a change in the drill schedule. A list of the personnel involved with the changes to accomodate having the planes in condition when the inspection ensues for one of the days includes Duty Officer, Assistants, Line Chief, Gate Watch, Cleaning Detail and Plane Captains (13 mens' names in all). Forkner is directing the men call upon their Division Commanders to get official permission to be at this mandatory inspection.
A notation for an oppurtunity for a few V-2 men to take active duty on certain days is explained. the letter is typewriter signed Joe R. Forkner.
Well, I just wanted to pass along the info since you were asking for any leads.
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper