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PILOT STORIES: Oakes, Paul S.

Air Mail Service Began: July 25, 1919
Air Mail Service Ends: April 15, 1920
Pilot Rehired: November 1. 1922
Air Mail Service Ends: January 18, 1923
Assignments: Belmont Park, New York
  August 1, 1919 – College Park, Maryland
  August 31, 1919 – Cleveland, Ohio, Ohio
  November 1, 1922 – Rock Springs, Wyoming

Bad weather and equipment problems forced Paul Oakes to take three days and five forced landings to fly his Martin #205 from Cleveland to Chicago in mid-January 1920. He arrived with a broken tailskid, inoperative ailerons, holes punched in wing coverings and both engines running rough.

On January 18, 1923, Oakes was flying de Havilland #223 out of Cheyenne with mechanic's helper W. R. Acer riding along. Either to entertain Acer or people below, Oakes did some stunts in the de Havilland, including low level steep wingovers. While making an abrupt turn downwind at 500 feet, the plane stalled and plunged into the ground nose first, exploding into flames and killing both men.

Telegram from Oakes regarding airplane  
   
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Telegram from Oakes regarding airplane
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