Page, Randolph Gilham "Dizzy"
Mail Service Began:
||July 10, 1919
Mail Service Ends:
||September 30, 1926
||College Park, Maryland
||Aug 25, 1919 – Bustleton,
||Dec 8, 1919 – College
||Aug 16, 1920 – Maywood,
||September 16, 1920 –
College Park, Maryland
||Aug 1, 1923 - Maywood, Illinois
When Randolph Page was ready to takeoff from
Hazelhurst on the morning of September 8, 1920 with the first
transcontinental mail, there was a delay due to an over-abundance of mail that was scheduled to be carried. Field personnel
tried to fit all 16,000 letters into sacks in the mail compartment,
but failed. Eager to get started, Page filled a suitcase with
the excess mail and strapped it to his wing. Page, the airplane
and the mail arrived safely.
September 1926, Page ran into difficulties when a debate over
a recent crash caused his dismissal from the service. On September
21, Page was ordered suspended from the service pending an
inquiry into the crash of de Havilland airmail airplane #629
near Clarence, Iowa. According to Page's official report,
he made a forced landing at Clarence, Iowa to fix a sticking
valve at 12:20 p.m. on September 9, 1926. Page said he obtained
kerosene and loosened the valve, taking off ten minutes later.
"When 10 feet above the ground, motor quit dead and
ship went through two telephone lines and crashed in road.
Landing gear collapsed lower panels and propeller damaged."
The investigation took place among claims that
Page made false statements relative to the disputed crash.
Investigators determined that unlike Page's statement
about the crash, his airplane never left the ground, nor did
he get out to loosen a valve. They did not believe that his
crash was due to motor trouble.
In a report dated September 21, 1926, Air Mail
Service manager Caldwell wrote that Page's "airplane
went under phone line, through a fence and dropped over a
4 foot embankment, crossed road, struck 5 foot embankment,
landing gear collapsed. airplane then went through another fence.
After striking embankment, airplane nosed up, breaking phone
"Mr. Klatt [a witness to Page's landing]
says he approached the airplane to see if all was ok. Page asked
Klatt to take his grip, pistol and lunch bucket from airplane.
Klatt took Page to his house. Klatt stated that Page was acting
very queer and he may have been drunk, although couldn't
smell liquor on his breath.
"Manager Bishop advises me that he has
smelled liquor on Page's breath after landing there
with the west bound mail and states that had he been more
under the influence of liquor on 2 or 3 occasions he would
have refused to let him take the ship off the field."
Page did not return to service. He ended his
days with the U.S. Air Mail Service on September 30, 1926.