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AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY: Regularly Schedule Service

Did you know?The world's first regularly scheduled Air Mail Service began on May 15, 1918. That morning, pilots readied to fly mail between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City. The service was organized and manned by the Army's Air Service. Major Reuben Fleet had been tasked with organizing this revolutionary service in less than two months. It was a close call, but Fleet had all his pilots and airplanes ready to go on time. The first flights, with one notable exception, were successful. The army continued to manage the service for the next three months. In early August, the Post Office Department took over, under the direction of Fleet's second in command, Benjamin Lipsner. Colonel Lipsner resigned his commission to run the Air Mail Service under the direction of Second Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger.

Click here to read more about the Regularly Schedule Service.

Related Links:
>> Army Pilots
>> Envelopes from the May 15, 1918 flights.

Pilot schedule chart May 15, 1918 flight
  Jenny in takeoff
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Pilot schedule chart

(top right) May 15, 1918 flight

(bottom right) Jenny in takeoff
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