From the beginning, Second Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger knew that the success of airmail was not in proving mail could be flown over ever-increasing distances, but that in proving it could be flown on a regular schedule. Without Congressional funding for the service, aided by wide-spread public support and excitement, Praeger's vision was unobtainable.
The army turned operations of the airmail service over to the Post Office Department in August. The department hired army Captain Benjamin Lipsner, Major Fleet's second-in-command, to run the service. Lipsner resigned his commission and became the First Superintendent of the Air Mail Service. The first flight operated by the Post Office Department took off from College Park, Maryland, on August 12, 1918.