PILOT STORIES: The Army
The Army pilots were familiar with the JN-4
"Jennies," which had been used as training airplanes
in the service, but they were irritated by postal service
demands that they fly the mail regardless of weather conditions.
Postal officials, especially Second Assistant Postmaster General
Otto Praeger, who was in charge of the service for the department,
were exasperated by Army pilots who refused to fly in bad
flights were canceled two days in a row, Praeger fired off
a note to Captain A. C. Weidenbach, who was in charge of the
service at that time. The route schedules he noted angrily,
were essential. The Post Office Department was trying to "establish
a daily aerial movement in the face of weather obstacles."
Capt. Weidenbach agreed to push his pilots harder to keep
to the schedule, but Praeger's suspicions about the
army's commitment continued. He knew the army was primarily
interested in providing flight training to their pilots, not
in establishing the core of a commercial aviation network.
Army pilots carried the mail for Praeger for the last time
on August 9, 1918,
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