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The Air Mail Pioneers website, promotes the history of the U.S. Air Mail Service in a way the organization’s founders could have imagined only in their wildest dreams. In the short 18 months that the website has been on the Internet, the AMP has drawn response from librarians seeking research information, relatives asking about AMP members, aviation buffs identifying antique aircraft, students writing essays about the early days of aviation. Most important, we’ve been able to increase our membership.

The e-mails included in this issue will illustrate the point. I would appreciate your response to any of the questions below.

Do you have any info on the airmail flight from Pasc, Wa to Elko, Nv? Did that flight land in Boise, Id? Thanks for any help you may be able to provide. Gary Bradshaw glbnsab@cyberhighway.net Response: I sent him information from "Air Mail: an illustrated history 1793-1981" by Donald B. Holmes, detailing Varney Airlines’s CAM route 5 that included Boise. He sent me this issue’s cover photo.

My uncle was Edward Nelson who founded the Pioneers - small world  Ed Cozak Edward.Cozak@rossnutrition.com

Response: He offered to look through his uncle’s records for a framed certificate from the Library of Congress regarding the Roll Call, AMP’s first directory of Air Mail Service employees.

could you please tell me if the US was the first country to have an air-mail service? Thank You.Sheila Harrison sheila@seabank.freeserve.co.uk

Response: I wrote that world’s first official mail flight occurred on August 17, 1859, in a mammoth balloon over Indiana. The world’s first regular airmail system began with the U.S. Air Mail Service, May 15, 1918.

She wrote that she is from the north of England and participating in a charity event for the prem-baby unit of her local hospital. That was one of the questions in a quiz in the event. In a pub, equipped with the information I’d given her, she impressed a local police woman who was trying to complete the quiz.

I am searching my family tree and am gathering information on my great grandfather. His name was Thomas Everett Flaherty (born May 1893) I have heard he was one of the first airmail pilots, and many other flying jobs. Do you have any information about him and his career as an airmail pilot? I would certainly appreciate anything you may find. Please notify me with any info or if nothing was found. Christine Herndon herndon92@alltel.net

Response: I wrote that he is not listed as a U.S. Air Mail Service pilot, but he may have flown for a contract line, like Lindbergh. I promised to include her request for information about him in this issue of the AMP News.

My great-grandfather flew for the USMail, and I have a picture of him. He flew the "Jenny." I looked up the members [on website] and found his last name, but the first did not match. I know that he did not fly for very long, which coincides with how long the man with the same last name as my great-grandfather. His name was E.H.Duffy, and under the member name it's J.James Duffy. The time that James flew is reported to be 7/7/24-8/31/24. Was that the time that the "Jenny's" were flown? Any information would be helpful. Angela Magney dudest@hotmail.com.

Response: The name Duffy in "Roll Coll," the AMP member roster, had a Dr. in front of his name and although her great-grandfather was a doctor also he did not fly for the Air Mail Service. I suggested that he might have flown for a contract line, such as Seattle-Victoria. She scanned and e-mailed this photo, which I entered on the website.

I came across a family post card dated 9-28-11 Aeroplane Station No1, Garden City Estates, N.Y. stamped AERIAL SPECIAL DESPATCH. Would you be interested in a copy? I'll send via mail if interested. Andy T andyt@hitter.net.

Response: I described Earle Ovington’s history-making flight in the Bleriot. Andy hopes to sell the card and use the funds for his daughter’s education.

I am seeking information on my grandfather Lester F. Bishop. He was in the Air Mail Service from December 26, 1918 to July 1, 1927. I met my grandfather only once in my life many years ago, when he was in the hospital in Chula Vista, California. Although I am in my late fifties, I have a 9 year old son who wants to know as much as he can about his great grandfather. Any assistance you can afford will be greatly appreciated. The only source I have at present is your organization’s "Saga of the Air Mail Service." But I would like to obtain as much information as possible. Thank you, Wayne D. Layton laytonws@son1.telmex.net.mx

Response: I sent him text from "Air Mail: an illustrated history 1793-1981" by Donald B. Holmes, telling of Bishop’s dramatic force landing and rescue in a Wyoming snow storm. Bishop, a Service airmail pilot from 1918 to 1927, inaugurated the Cleveland-Chicago route on May 15, 1919. Layton scanned me a photo of Bishop.

I've been "collecting" biographical information about American aviators for many years and have listed approximately 35,000 of them. A few years ago Meg Ausman, the Post Office's historian, and I exchanged information but I'm still a long way from gathering all of the information I'd like on Air Mail pilots. Does your organization keep any kind of database on pilots? I'd be happy to share what I've found in exchange for any further information. One of my objectives is to "associate" photographs of the aviators and their aircraft with the database and I'd be interested in any images available. Thanks, Dan Mac Murray (3511 Ridgecrest Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008)

Response: No AMP database but complete AMP members’ list on website. He sent me a copy of the Air Mail pilots section of his biographical database. Very thorough. Will update and correct it, if necessary

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