National Postal Museum logo
Top Image
Pilot StoriesHistoric PlanesAirmail Creates an IndustryObject ShowcaseHistory TimelineActivity ZoneFlight School
The Army Pilots
>> Reuben Fleet
>> James C. Edgerton
>> Lieutenant George Boyle
>> Culver and Webb
>> Bonsal, Killgore and Miller
No Old, Bold, Pilots
Tales from 5000 ft.
Contract Pilots
Mail by Female
Pilot's Gear


PILOT STORIES: James C. Edgerton

Carrying mail brought down from New York that first day of service, Edgerton took off at 6:30 p.m. May 15, 1918 on the Philadelphia to Washington leg of the route. Major Fleet ordered a line-up of cars to light the Polo Fields for his flyer so Edgerton would be able to find the field for landing. During his flight, Edgerton flew into a thunderstorm at 10,000 feet. "One instant the airplane became a tremendous elevator, leaping skyward hundreds of feet," he noted, saying, "then the bottom promptly falls out , dizzy fall of hundreds of feet. I was attacked by solid waves of air."

When he landed, Edgerton and his mechanic looked over the airplane for damage. The wooden propeller had taken a beating in the storm. Paint was chewed off; slivers of wood had been chipped away, unbalancing the propeller; and the fuselage had been flooded with water.

Click here to go back to the Short Summary of James C. Edgerton.

Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Edgerton's airplane leaving Philly for DC

(bottom right) Edgerton surrounded by dignataries prior to leaving for DC
View Our Collection
National Postal Museum | Smithsonian Institution | Privacy | Terms of UseBottom Navigation
Top of page link to homepage