April 20, 1919 – Belmont Park, New York
Gilbert G. Budwig did not stay with the U.S. airmail service long. After a forced landing that left an aircraft badly damaged, he was fired for using bad judgment. As superintendent of the Western Division, John Jordon related in a letter to Second Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger on May 26, 1919, "Following instructions . . . I have separated Pilot Budwig from the service. . . . He was seventy miles south of his course and fifteen miles too far west when he landed. Telephone information from Cleveland force sent to relief of ship, is that she is badly damaged and beyond field repair. Am bringing her in by rail and will put her in order as rapidly as possible. Budwig elaborates his statement verbally by saying that when he came down, he had only an emergency gas tank left and that he was absolutely lost. In answer to my questions as to why he did not come through on Friday, he said he could not find his way over the mountains because of the rain and fog."
Telegram relating the forced landing Budwig made on May 25, 1919.
- Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration
Budwig did well for himself after leaving the Air Mail Serivce. By 1918, he was an official in the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Budwig died in 1978.