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First scheduled US airmail service, 1918

First scheduled US airmail service, 1918

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Credit

US AIR FORCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US AIR FORCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First scheduled US airmail service. The first US airmail service, provided by the US Army Air Service (USAAS), was organised by Major Reuben H. Fleet. The route was between New York and Washington, DC, with stopovers in Philadelphia for fresh planes and more mail. The first flight, shown here, took place on 15 May 1918, and was watched by large crowds (background). The first flight ended in a crash landing. Other early flights also had problems, but 270 successful flights were made between May and August of that year before the service ended.

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