The Army

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Army Airmail pilot Major Ruben Fleet (on the left) shows Lt. George Boyle the watch given to him by the Hamilton Watch Company, in honor of the inauguration of the Army Airmail Service.

On May 15th, 1918 the airmail service began in front of a number of important government officials, including President Woodrow Wilson himself. Mail, destined for New York was given to Lieutenant George Boyle, he mounted his JN-4H, and promptly flew toward eastern Maryland.

After this inauspicious start, the army flew the mail for two months, officially leaving the airmail business on August, 10th, 1918. That was when the Post Office Department took over the US Airmail Service in its own right.