March 1, 1921 – Chicago, Illinois
October 16, 1921 – Cleveland, Ohio
Paul F. Collins
- Courtesy of the Air Mail Pioneers
Paul Collins was one of the stars of the postal service's Air Mail Service. A steady and reliable aviator, Collins was chosen to make several important trips, including inaugural trips on the transcontinental flyway. On June 30, 1924, the New York Times congratulated Collins for his role in the preparation flights for the transcontinental mail service.
RESUME AIR MAIL SERVICE TO CHICAGO
Paul Collins Leaves Garden City Carrying a Cargo of 323 Pounds.
Second airplane Off Today
Transcontinental Mail Service to be Established on a Daily Basis July 1.
The Post Office Department's Air Mail Service from New York to Chicago, which will be operated day and night and 7 days a week beginning July 1, was begun on a daily except Sunday schedule yesterday when Paul Collins, piloting a D. H. 4B airplane, left Air Mail Field, Garden City, at 1:43 o'clock, Daylight Savings Time. His cargo included 13 pounds of special mail and 310 pounds of regular mail, a total of 323 pounds.
In the first shipment were 1 pouch to be dropped at Bellefonte, Pa., where the air mail pilot was scheduled to stop for gas, oil and for service inspection; 9 pouches of regular mail and 1 sack of special mail for Cleveland, and 1 sack of special mail for Chicago. The air mail for those 3 places was postmarked at the GPO, NYC, and from there taken by truck and train to Garden City, where it was taken aboard the air mail flier. Pilot Collins' departure was delayed to await the arrival of special mail from the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden.
The air mail for Chicago will depart from Air Mail Field this morning at 6:45 o'clock. The pilot of the 2nd airplane to begin the trip will be Wesley L. Smith. The air mail is being operated under the direction of Superintendent J. E. Whitbeck.
John H. Hartlett, former Gov. of NH, who is acting Postmaster General, will witness the start of the regular transcontinental air mail service at Curtiss Field on July 1, according to a telegram received yesterday by Superintendent Whitbeck from Col. Paul Henderson, Second Assistant PMG, M. Whitbeck also announced that E. Hamilton Lee, oldest air mail pilot in point of service, or Wesley L. Smith, 2nd oldest, would make the initial flight.
The transcontinental mail will follow a regular daily schedule, including Sundays. The westward flight will require about 34 hours, and the flight eastward, owing to favorable winds, it is believed, will be 2 hours shorter.
On the first flight 550 pounds of mail, or about 20,000 letters, will be included in the mail consignment. Letters to San Fran by the air mail will require 24 cents worth of new aerial mail postage, and such letters may be dropped in any mail box.
Newspaper clipping from the New York Times on
Collins' airmail flight from New Jersey.
Forced landing report made by Paul Collins on a December 23, 1925 landing.
- Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration