Although he had little flight experience when hired, James C. Edgerton proved to be an excellent pilot. A month after the service started, postal officials lauded Edgerton for having made 20 perfect flights without " a stop en route, and without damaging a airplane." As an army airmail pilot, Edgerton flew 52 trips over a total of 7,155 miles, spending 107 hours in the air and making only one forced landing. When the Post Office Department took over airmail service, Edgerton moved up in their ranks, becoming the Chief of Flying.
Lieutenant James C. Edgerton piloting his Curtiss Jenny JN-4B airplane on takeoff from Philadelphia's Bustleton Airport, heading for Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant Edgerton surrounded by Philadelphia dignitaries prior to leaving for Washington, DC on the morning of May 15, 1918.