Nichols, Elmer E.
Mail Service Began:
||April 26 1920
Mail Service Ended:
||May 31, 1920
||College Park, Maryland
||May 20, 1920 – Newark,
Elmer Nichols was born on July 20, 1889 to George
and Nellie Nichols. In 1917 he joined the US Army and served
as an aviator during World War I. He studied law and engineering
at the University of California after the war.
When he applied for a pilot's job with
the Post Office Department he was 30 years old and living
in New York City. He joined the service on April 26, 1920
and was sent for rookie training to College Park, Maryland.
A month later, he was assigned to Heller Field in New Jersey.
On May 23, Nichols wrecked de Havilland airplane
#85 at Heller Field. His accident, combined with less than
stellar flight reports, convinced the service to let him go.
When Nichols asked for an explanation for his firing, Second
Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger told him, "You
are advised that your separation from the service was ordered
after some deliberation and was influenced somewhat by your
own statement that you had experienced difficulty in landing
airplanes at other times. Your performance while at College Park
led to the belief that you had overcome this difficulty but
your probation period at Newark proved otherwise."