Clifford A. James was born on February 12, 1893 in Merchantville, New Jersey. James was employed as a pilot at the Airmail Service from May 26 to June 5, 1919. He left the service just ahead of some bill collectors. The Post Office Department received a letter from the Wanamaker and Brown company asking for $117.45 to cover a bill left unpaid by James. "We have written him repeatedly in regard to the account, but we get no attention or information whatever. We do not like to take this course or method in trying to collect our bills, but it looks as though this man does not act on the square. If there is any possible way that your department can force, or in any way secure payment of the account, we would appreciate it very much."
Praeger responded to the company, letting them know that they were out of luck. "In reply you are advised that Mr. James remained in the Service for a period of less than one week and although the Department is desirous of learning his whereabouts, it has been unsuccessful to date."
In 1925, James wrote to Second Assistant Postmaster General Paul Henderson asking to be reinstated in the service. Writing on January 17, 1925 from his home in Huntington, West Virginia, James noted that he'd heard that there might be more openings over the coming summer and asked for a pilot's position. His request was rejected by Chase C. Cove, Acting Second Assistant Postmaster General, who wrote: "I am sorry it is not possible to give you any encouragement concerning such appointment, and really do not believe there is any possibility of your appointment in the near future."