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PILOT STORIES: Morgan, William V.

Air Mail Service Began: September 8, 1920
Air Mail Service Ended: November 19, 1920
Assignment: San Francisco

William Morgan began working for the airmail service on September 8, 1920 and was assigned to the western division. At that time, that division was run by Col. John A. Jordan, a rigid and difficult manager who had few supporters within the service. The early years of cross-country service were difficult ones. Routes, pilots and mangers were new. Only the equipment seemed to be old. Morgan served well, but could tolerate Jordan nor the only slightly managed chaos of the first year of service. He resigned two months after joining the department.

Like many others who resigned, Morgan soon found himself longing to return to the air as an airmail pilot. In the summer of 1922 he began contacting various officials in an effort to win reinstatement. At that time, his nemesis, Col. Jordon, was no longer with the service. Morgan had previously earned the esteem of support of field Superintendent A. Nelson and felt he could build on that. On June 23, 1922, Morgan wrote to 2nd Assistant Postmaster General Egge.

You probably will not know me but I was one of the original pilots on the Western Division having opened the San Francisco-Reno run in company with Ray Little and SS Boggs.

My reason for writing at this time is to request a reinstatement if possible or at least to do whatever is possible to secure the necessary rating.

I recently visited the San Francisco field in company with Mr. Little and had a talk with Supt. Nelson who advised me to get in touch with you. While there, I noted a vast improvement in ships, equipment and personnel and I feel that I would take great delight flying in the service now - far more so than under conditions that existed during the old administration.

I might say, in explanation, that my reasons for leaving the service while I did were simply because of the conditions of the flying equipment, the lack of efficient organization and the absolutely intolerable personality of Col. Jordon, coupled with the fact that there were too many pilots on the run to make it a paying proposition.

I would request that you examine my records, if on file, and I will appreciate anything that you can do in this regard.

By the fall of 1922, Morgan had enlisted the support of other managers in the airmail service to his cause. Reno, Nevada, field manager O. A. Tomlison wrote to Egge, "I am forwarding herewith the application of Mr. William V. Morgan for reinstatement as pilot in the Air Mail Service which I recommend for your favorable consideration. . . . It is a pleasure to recommend Mr. Morgan for reinstatement in the service and I should consider this station fortunate if he were assigned to duty here.

Unfortunately, vacancies were hard to win. A year after he'd begun his advocacy for reinstatement, Morgan was still trying. On July 11, 1923, Superintendent Nelson wrote to Egge, "I have received numerous applications for a position as pilot, from William V. Morgan, a former pilot in our service. Mr. Morgan has impressed me very favorably by the sincerity of his requests, and I have seen his ability demonstrated beyond question. I am therefore taking the liberty of recommending him to you for your most thorough consideration in the event of a pilot vacancy anywhere in the service.

Tomlison and Nelson's advice was ignored and Morgan was not rehired. He never flew again for the postal service.

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