National Postal Museum logo
Top Image
Pilot StoriesHistoric PlanesAirmail Creates an IndustryObject ShowcaseHistory TimelineActivity ZoneFlight School
The Army Pilots
No Old, Bold, Pilots
>> The First Four
>> They Died Flying the Mail
>> Rest of the Best
Tales from 5000 ft.
Contract Pilots
Mail by Female
Pilot's Gear

PILOT STORIES: Smith, Wesley L.

Air Mail Service Began: November 8, 1919
Air Mail Service Ended: June 15, 1927
Total Hours Flown: 4029.26
Total Miles Flown: 391,686
Assignments: College Park, Maryland
  December 8, 1919 – Belmont Field, New York
  December 15, 1919 – Newark, New Jersey
  February 1, 1920 – College Park, Maryland
  May 25, 1920 – Newark, New Jersey
  August 16, 1920 – Hazelhurst Field, New York
  December 16, 1924 – Hadley Field, New Jersey

On April 27, 1920 Wesley Smith was flying the mail between College Park, Maryland and Newark, New Jersey when he encountered a heavy fog. He flew over it, using his compass. When he came down to see where he was, he flew into trees on the Orange Mountains. Smith survived that crash and continued to fly for the Air Mail Service until it was turned over to private contractors. At that time, Smith went on to serve as the operations manager for National Aviation Transport (NAT).

Clipping of a crash  
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Clipping of a crash
View Our Collection
Postal Museum | Smithsonian | Privacy | Terms of Use | Site MapBottom Navigation
Top of page link to homepage