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PILOT STORIES: Morgan, Herbert P.

Air Mail Service Began: February 26, 1921
Air Mail Service Ended: June 17, 1921
Assignments: College Park, Maryland
  April 1, 1921 - Hazelhurst

Herbert Morgan was born on June 12, 1892 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Prior to joining the Air Mail Service, he served in World War I and worked as a salesman. On February 26, 1921 he was appointed as a pilot and assigned to College Park, Maryland, where he was to receive his training. Apparently training did not go well and Morgan failed to impress his supervisors.

Before each pilot is allowed to take up a route, he has to familiarize himself with it by following an experienced airmail pilot in a separate airplane. After failing to successfully track a pilot from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania to Cleveland, Ohio, Morgan was asked to explain "the circumstances attending your trip from Bellefonte to Cleveland trailing Bishop on May 19, 1921. Kindly give your candid opinion as to the reason you failed to follow the course." A few days later, Morgan responded by claiming that it had been the lead pilot, Lestor Bishop, who had gotten lost, not him.

In reply to your letter of May 26th asking my opinion as to why Bishop got lost I will just give you the facts.

We did not follow the right course more than five minutes out of Bellefonte the course from 10 to 20 minutes after leaving Bellefonte. I understand the compass in Bishop's ship was not correct.

I made a forced landing at Bloomsburg Wed June 1st acc't air pressure there seems to be a feeling in N.Y. that it was for some other reason. I can prove by every man at Bellefonte including Mr. Gilhous that it was air-pressure as they found the trouble and fixed it there.

Airmail officials found Morgan's explanation to be unsatisfactory. He was fired from the service on June 21, 1921. In his recommendation for separating Morgan from the service, D.B. Colyer cited additional reasons for the firing. "This pilot, as you know, failed to qualify at College Park in the regular manner and has been of no practical use to the service since his employment. It is my understanding that he will not accept a transfer to another division other than the New York – Cleveland. His services are not needed on this division."

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