your editor: The reception to the new News, as youíll see
from the correspondence Iíve included in this winter 1999
issue, has been gratifying. Iím especially delighted at
the response to our airmailpioneers.org website. Daily,
I receive e-mails from people eager to learn about airmail
history or curious about relatives who flew for the U.S.
Air Mail Service.
As I stated
in the summer 1998 number, my goal has been to keep Air
Mail history alive. I especially want to attract young people
to the thrills of early flight. In line with this, I received
the following e-mail:
My name is Wendy Larson
and I am a librarian at Valley View Middle School in Edina,
MN. A group of seventh grade students would like to use
pictures from your web page in a History Day project to
be presented on March 16. The pictures would not be used
for commercial purposes.
The Internet has already
proved a valuable research tool. This two remarkable shots
below arrived via e-mail from David Wettengel of Apex, North
Carolina. He wrote that his grandfather, Peter A. Toronto
(far right), worked for the U. S. Air Mail Service. (See
article "Seeking Information.")
What is wrong with
this picture, below?
Taken at about 10,000 feet near Reno, Nevada, Mt. Rose,
between 13,000 to 14,000 feet, rises in the background.
Air Mail pilot Edison E. Mouton landed safely in a snowstorm.
Caption on photo reads: It took four hours to get up to
plane on snowshoes and 30 minutes to come down on skis.
Photo courtesy of David Wettengel.
|Belmont Park, 1919. L to R
Pilot Randolph G. Page, Walter H. Stevens, Mark A. Hamilton,
William G. Henry, Charles H. Anglin, Paul S. Oakes. (Stevens
and Oakes subsequently died in Air Mail plane crashes.)
AIR MAIL PIONEERS NEWS AND WEBSITE THRIVES
Planning Makes Perfect
Without proper and precise
planning, mail would never arrive at the correct destination
at the right time. One of the many things Jerry Lederer has
done to ensure that the efforts of Air Mail Pioneers will not
be forgotten is to establish the Air Mail Pioneers Fund at The
San Diego Foundation. Through the Fund we have provided financial
assistance to the Smithsonian Institute, National Air and Space
Museum, National Postal Museum and the San Diego Aerospace Museum,
and most importantly, maintained the Air Mail Pioneers News.
Many of our readers have made
contributions to the Fund and because it is a component fund
of The San Diego Foundation, all gifts are tax deductible. Thank
you to those generous individuals.
Address donations as follows:
Air Mail Pioneers Fund, in care of The San Diego Foundation,
1420 Kettner Blvd., Suite 500, San Diego, CA 92101.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Paul D. Culver, CDR U.S.Navy
(Ret) Lake Sherwood, CA 91361 24 July 1998
on your super newsletter for the Air Mail Pioneers. It is truly
an outstanding piece of work and your treatment of the Skoning
question was very well done. I hope your plans for promoting
expanded interest in Air Mail history will be successful.
One of the most
interesting aspects of establishing the first Air Mail by the
Army was the logistic support
required with only a few days to prepare. Major Fleet's organizational
capability and Lt Culver's engineering expertise played a large
part in effectiveness of the operation. I occasionally go through
old documents on the subject and will pass copies that may be
of interest to you. Original assembly blueprints of the Jennie
used by my Father were donated to the San Diego Aerospace Museum
some years ago through my friend David Fleet, Rubenís eldest
son, and a fine gentleman.
Best wishes and
thanks again for breathing new life into the old organization.
Dear Nancy, August 12,
The Air Mail Pioneers
News was a delightful surprise. I enjoyed all the new and old
news in there and all the pictures. I would like to know how
many of the Pioneers are left now. Can you please print it in
the news. How old and addresses of these dear people. My husband
George was "George of all Trades," for the Air Mail in Maywood,
I am enclosing
a check to you for keeping the Air Mail News coming to me. I
am a widow now. George died in 1987. I am 90 years old.
P.S. The new look
of the AMP News was very nice. You done a great job. Keep sending
responding to Bernice Trendelís request, I wrote the following
letter to the people June Schuck, former editor of the News,
told me are the original Air Mail Pioneers members. It went
out to: Carl E. Anderson, John Bonforte, H. William Cramer,
Stover Deats, Leslie A. Frazeur, Ernest A. Johnson, George Weller,
Herb Wetenkamp, John Lunsford, Rome Montle, Lawrence T. Murray,
Alvin Opsahl, Marshall Orr, Michael Schreck and Charles I. Stanton.
Iím writing to ask you to share
your memories of the U.S. Air Mail Service with readers of the
Air Mail Pioneers News. As you know, the purpose of the News
is to perpetuate the history of the Service and celebrate the
contribution its employees made to todayís civil aviation phenomena.
Your firsthand recollections of those early days will help us
fulfill this goal.
do you remember about the Service? How about its day-to-day
operation? What part did you or your spouse play, whether working
in the office, handling administration duties, readying the
planes for flight, tending landing fields? I welcome all stories
about the pilots and their daring-do and their sacrifices, in
fact I welcome all anecdotes. Do you remember the beacons strung
along the transcontinental and their upkeep?
If you donít feel like writing,
please give me a phone call and Iíll tape your memories. As
your new AMP News editor, I want to become acquainted with you.
I look forward to hearing from
you and getting to know you.