STORIES: Webster, Clifford Lawrence
Mail Service Began:
||July 7, 1919
Mail Service Ended:
||August 13, 1919
||College Park, Maryland
||July 21, 1919 – Bellefonte,
Clifford Lawrence Webster was born in Haverhill,
Massachusetts on May 14, 1891. He studied flying in 1911,
then served as a civilian instructor of Navy pilots. He was
an airmail pilot for only five weeks before leaving the service.
On July 19, 1919, Webster was flying from New
Jersey to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Unfamiliar with the territory,
Webster had brought a map with him, as instructed. In a telegram
Webster sent to his division superintendent that afternoon,
he related what happened as he was flying over New Jersey.
"I found my map would not roll. Being unable to fix
it in flight I took it out of the holder. While trying to
replace holder the map blew out of my lap and caught on the
tail wiring. On reaching Allentown I saw a good field, so
landed to recover my map and find out where I was. I was on
the ground 17 minutes getting off at 8:22 a.m."
Life as an airmail pilot did not agree with
Webster, and by August 1919 he was flying for America Transoceanic
Company, and later Curtiss Metropolitan Airplane company.
Learn more about the maps
carried by airmail pilots.