PILOT STORIES: Reuben
Born on March 6, 1887 in Montesano, Washington, Reuben E. Fleet attended aviation training at the army aviation school in San Diego, California. By 1918, the Fleet had become a Major and was supervising the pilot training of thousands of pilots. Major Fleet was assigned the complex task of setting up the first regularly scheduled airmail service. He was assigned pilots, airplanes and mechanics; given the three-city route to cover; and told to make everything ready in less than two months. Astoundingly, Fleet pulled everything together, and the service began on May 15, 1918, just as it had been announced it would. Fleet left the Air Service soon after that. In 1923, he formed Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. In 1949, he retired from the firm, and in 1975, at the age of 88, he passed away.
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