The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Pacific Air Transport
For footage of a P.A.T. trimotor at the Medford Airport, see the circa 1930 Harold Kem film "The Haunted Camera."

    The Mail Tribune has frequently complained of the tendency of Eastern map-makers to leave Medford off important highway and tourist maps by failing to bring their Oregon outlines up to date.
    It is, therefore, with considerable pleasure that we notice in the January National Geographic magazine an air mail map on which Medford stands out conspicuously, along with Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as one of the principal air stations on the Pacific Coast.
    The air mail contract for this coast service has been awarded. Medford is an important relay point, and the aggressive group of citizens responsible for this achievement are to be congratulated upon the success of their efforts.
    But as W. H. Crawford of the California Oregon Power Company pointed out before the city council Tuesday night, the awarding of the contract does not mean necessarily that it will be successfully carried out.
    Medford has been made an aviation center, but to retain this distinction Medford will need to cooperate with the postal air service, assist in overcoming obstacles and making it in every way a success.
    We therefore agree with Mr. Crawford that the proper officials in Washington, D.C., should be informed at once that Medford appreciates the honor conferred and stands ready to do anything that needs to be done in the way of facilitating successful operation.
    Such an attitude may be taken for granted in Medford, but Medford's reputation may not be so well known among the higher-ups in Washington, D.C. Following up the victory now may prevent considerable annoyance and unnecessary delay later on.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1926, page 4

 Medford Only Stop in Oregon on Air Mail Route
    Vern C. Gorst, who has the air mail contract from Seattle in Los Angeles, passed through Medford last evening and was met at the station by some of the Medford enthusiasts. Mr. Gorst goes east next week to complete arrangements with the government.
    Medford will be the only city in Oregon where a stop will be made on this flight; the next stop north of here will be Vancouver, Wash., and south at Sacramento, Cal.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 15, 1926, page 2

    Flying the latest type of transport monoplane, Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Transport company and R. C. Ryan, builder of the plane, at the controls, arrived here this afternoon, en route to Seattle from San Diego to test flying time on the new mail route.
    While the main purpose of the flight is to test the time of flight on the air mail route and the conditions of the landing fields, the air voyage is being made to test the kind of plane, ten of which have been purchased for use by the transport company.
    With a speed of more than 110 miles per hour under heavy load, and a climbing power of 2000 feet in two minutes, the planes are considered to be among the best in the transportation class. They have a capacity of 600 pounds.
    The plane was scheduled to leave here shortly after landing to continue the journey north. The two men were joined at the aviation field by C. N. Comstock, vice president of the company, who arrived in the city this forenoon by train.
    The plane left at exactly 2:30 for Portland, following a three-hour trip from San Francisco and one hour and a quarter from Red Bluff. While en route to the state metropolis the party of three plan to stop at Eugene for additional fuel, this plane being equipped with smaller gas tanks than the ones to be put on the route regular. The monoplane, here this afternoon, is making only a test flight.
    Mr. Gorst stated that the regular flights are scheduled to commence about May 1, if the planes now half constructed at the shops in San Diego, are completed by that time.
    Although the arrival was not generally known, a considerable number of people gathered to welcome the fliers. Moving pictures of the occasion were taken by Horace L. Bromley to be shown locally in the near future.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1926, page 3

New Record Is Set for Seattle-San Francisco Route Trip
(United News Leased Wire)
    SAN FRANCISCO, March 25.--Postmaster J. E. Power announced that the new airmail service between Seattle and Los Angeles has demonstrated its effectiveness by setting a new record for the Seattle-San Francisco hop.
    The space between the two cities was negotiated in six hours and 40 minutes.as compared with a scheduled time of 9 hours and 20 minutes, he said.
    Remainder of the test flight will be made tomorrow, and Postmaster Power said that the San Francisco-Los Angeles jump probably would be made in less than the scheduled five hours.
    Actual airmail operation along the coast will begin in two weeks. Planes will leave Seattle in the morning, touch here seven or eight hours later and then depart for Los Angeles the next morning. The postal rate between Los Angeles and Seattle will be 20 cents for an ounce or less. From Seattle to San Francisco will cost 15 cents for a similar weight, while the San Francisco-Los Angeles delivery will cost 10 cents.
    The Pacific Air Transport company of Medford, Ore. is in charge of the transportation.
Bakersfield Californian, March 25, 1926, page 1

    PORTLAND, Ore., May 8.--(AP)--Vern C. Gorst, air mail contractor for the route between Portland and Seattle to Los Angeles, announced here today that he had arrangements about completed to inaugurate the service between June 1 and June 15. He has landing fields arranged for at every point along the route. For the delivery of air mail at Portland he will use Pierson Field, Vancouver, Wash., the mail being brought to the post office here from the landing field by truck. This arrangement will be in force until Portland's landing field is established.
    Tomorrow Mr. Gorst will make an airplane flight from Portland to Seattle, hopping off from Pierson field about nine o'clock.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 9, 1926, page 8

    VANCOUVER, Wn., May 15.--Lee Schoenhair, pilot of the Pacific Air Transport, contractors for the coast air mail service which is to start next month, hopped off from Pearson Field here at 7 o'clock this morning, in an attempt to make a nonstop flight to Los Angeles.
    Schoenhair, in a Ryan M-l plane, equipped with the Wright Whirlwind motor, carried an extra supply of 90 gallons of gasoline in addition to the regular 50-gallon supply.
    In order that the trip would be under mail-carrying conditions, the plane carried 900 pounds extra weight, exclusive of the pilot.
Santa Ana Register, Santa Ana, California, May 15, 1926, page 1

Portland-L.A. Flight Without Stop Succeeds

    LOS ANGELES, March 15.--Lee Schoenhair, pilot of the Pacific Air Transport, arrived here at 4:20 p.m. today on a non-stop flight from Portland, Ore.
    Schoenhair was nine hours and 20 minutes in the air, completing successfully the first non-stop flight along the Pacific Coast.
    He flew a Ryan M-l plane, equipped with a Wright Whirlwind motor.
    Schoenhair is one of the several pilots of the Pacific Air Transport who will make regular mail carrying flights along the new coast air line starting next month.
    He carried 900 pounds extra weight, equivalent to a load of mail, in the test flight today.
Oakland Tribune, May 15, 1926, page 23

    Medford will see the largest aggregation of mail planes ever assembled for one flight, that will fly from San Diego to Seattle and return early in July, according to plans now being made by the Pacific Air Transport company.
    Six planes will make the 2200-mile flight in flotilla formation, stopping at each of the mail ports on the coast, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Francisco, Medford, Vancouver and Seattle.
    All will be the new monoplane now being constructed by the Ryan Flying Company for the mail service. The first of these planes constructed is the one which recently broke the non-stop flight record between Vancouver and Los Angeles. The time was 8 hours and 50 minutes, or an average of 120 miles an hour.
    The formation flight will be a preliminary to the regular mail flights and will be to acquaint the pilots with the entire course.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 23, 1926, page 3

    PORTLAND, Ore., June 12.--Vern Gorst, who has the contract for the Pacific Coast air mail service, and Vance Reese, one of his pilots, flew to Seattle yesterday after spending a day in Portland. Gorst announced that the Pacific Air Transport company, which he heads, was purchasing 7,500,000-candlepower rotating beacon lights to make [omission] that part of the coast route to be covered by night flights.
    Gorst expects to start service as soon as the four Ryan planes now under construction at Los Angeles are completed and tested. The planes are equipped with Wright Whirlwind motors, the same type as used on the Pasco, Washington-Elko, Nevada route.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 12, 1926, page 5

    Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Transport, landed here for a short time Tuesday, en route from San Francisco to Seattle on a business trip.
    Mr. Gorst says work on lighting the route from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where the flying will be at night, is progressing rapidly and just as soon as the work is completed the route will be started.
    The hangar at the local field has been completed some time, and a ship is expected here soon, to be stationed here regularly for relief.
    Just as soon as the exact date for the first flight is known, the arrangements will be completed for celebrating the event. A half holiday has been decided upon by the merchants.
    The special greeting stationery to advertise the flight will be printed as soon as the date is set. If you haven't ordered some of these to send your friends and advertise the valley and city and the fact that Medford is the only air landing port in Oregon, place your order at once, so the supply can be printed.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 21, 1926, page 3

Monoplane Gives Bakersfield Thrill
    Preparing Bakersfield for what will soon be a common sight, a pilot of the Pacific Air Transport company, which will carry the airmail through Bakersfield, flew a Ryan M-1 mail monoplane over the business district in a demonstration of speed and maneuverability shortly after noon today.
    The pilot is in Bakersfield in connection with the equipping of the flying field for night landings of the mail ships.
    Though the present tentative schedule of the Pacific Coast airmail calls for the landing of the planes here between midnight and 3 a.m., President Gorst of the air transport company is believed to be working to revise the schedule so that landings will be made here during the daylight hours.
Bakersfield Californian, August 21, 1926, page 9

    The joint meeting scheduled to have been held last night by the representatives of the service clubs, chamber of commerce and city officials to plan an elaborate celebration program for the day the air mail service to and through Medford is inaugurated was called off late yesterday afternoon.
    This was because it was definitely learned here in the afternoon that the air mail service planes would reach Medford daily too early in the day to attract a big crowd for such a celebration. However, the inauguration of the service will be fittingly celebrated in Medford in some manner to be decided later.
    The date for the starting of this service by the Pacific Air Transport company is not yet known. One guess is as good as another, but it is surmised that it will be at least 10 days yet. However, it will be 10 days from the date of the formal announcement, as it will take that long to let the contract for carrying the air mail between the post office and the landing field of the planes, and get other matters ready.
    The daily southbound plane will arrive in Medford at 8 o'clock a.m., and the daily northbound plane will arrive in Medford at 9:30 a.m., thus ensuring that all air mail put in the post office early in the morning will be delivered in San Francisco and Portland early in the afternoon of the same day.
    On the bottom of each plane will be P.A.T. in large letters--the initials of the Pacific Transport company--and these letters will no doubt attract much attention over the Pacific Coast territory, and when the planes fly by overhead a popular expression no doubt will be, "There goes Pat."
Medford Mail Tribune, August 25, 1926, page 2

Monoplane Makes Trial Night Flight
    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29.--(By the Associated Press.)--A monoplane of the Pacific Air Transport company hopped off from here at 12:03 a.m. today in a trial night flight to San Francisco, with stops scheduled at Bakersfield and Fresno, Calif.
    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 29.--(By the Associated Press.)--Completing the first night test flight over the airways of the Pacific Coast air mail route, a monoplane of the Pacific Air Transport company arrived here from Los Angeles at 5:30 a.m. today.
    The plane left Los Angeles at 12:03 and made stops at Bakersfield and Fresno, where lighted landing fields were used. The test flight was entirely successful, Vern Gorst of the company announced. The company will be able to inform the postmaster general that it is ready to begin mail service over the route in a few days, Gorst said.
    Another night test flight is scheduled soon for the route between Seattle and Portland, which is also lighted. The mail schedule calls for day travel between Portland and San Francisco.
    George W. Allen of Los Angeles piloted the test plane and James Mushett, superintendent of the division, was a passenger. They were able to see the light beacon at Turlock, seventy-five miles away, as soon as they took off at Fresno, they said.
    The planes have a capacity of 600 pounds of mail and two passengers.
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 30, 1926, page 2

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 31.--(AP)--Service on the Pacific Coast contract air mail route between Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be inaugurated September 15, Postmaster General New announced today.
    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31.--(AP)--The schedule of air mail service between Los Angeles and Seattle, which according to Washington dispatches will be inaugurated September 15, calls for planes to leave the two terminals at 12:05 a.m. every day except Mondays, it was announced today by C. N. Comstock, president of the Pacific Air Transport.
    The flight will require about 12 hours and stops will be made at Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco, Medford, Ore., and Portland.
Oakland Tribune, August 31, 1926, page 27

    Between 7000 and 8000 addressed letters with air mail stamps on are waiting at the post office to be mailed out from here next Wednesday when the Pacific air mail service through Medford begins, and more such addressed letters are coming to the post office with every mail from all parts of the United States to be stamped and sent out, and will continue to come, it is expected, until Wednesday morning. Of course, the majority of these letters are from Medford and Southern Oregon points. All Medford people desiring to send out souvenir air mail letters on the first flight Wednesday must hurry and get their souvenir stationery and envelopes at the chamber of commerce and this city this morning, arriving in the initial relay flight from Seattle stamps for such letters at the post office.
    A test flight of the Seattle-to-Los Angeles air mail route was made today and proved very satisfactory. A. Patterson, pilot on the southbound ship, arrived at Medford at 8:45 a.m., thirty minutes late, caused by an inspection of the emergency field at Grants Pass. Vern Bookwalter, pilot on the northbound ship, with Alvin Peterson of the Post Office Department arrived at 8:40, ahead of schedule. Both planes left on time north- and southbound.
    The plane "Medford," to be stationed here, rests gracefully in her hangar on the fair grounds.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 13, 1926, page 8

    At the Kiwanis meeting Monday Seely Hall, who has been one of the principal workers in helping secure the air mail service for Medford, made a splendid talk regarding the air mail service.
    Mr. Hall said in part:
    "Vern C. Gorst came to the Rogue River Valley in the spring of 1910, from Bremerton, Wash. He settled in Jacksonville and started some mining operations back of the Opp mine. One day as he looked out over the valley and saw the Medford-Jacksonville train laboring up the hill to Jacksonville, he thought of a stage line, operating between the two towns. Mr. Gorst went to Portland, where he purchased a 1911 Cadillac and started one of the first stage lines on the Pacific Coast, and the first line in the state of Oregon.
    "In the fall of 1911 Mr. Gorst took in a partner, and formed the company of Gorst and King. They left Medford and started a line between the towns of Marshfield and North Bend. They are now the owners of many of the leading lines on the coast.
    "In the fall of 1925 Mr. Gorst placed a bid on the air mail and was awarded the contract, it being the only air line in the United States which operates independent of the transcontinental. It is over 1000 miles in length.
    "The line is lighted from San Francisco to Los Angeles with 7,500,000-c.p. lights, this being a night flight. Also lighted from Seattle to Portland, night flight.
    "Medford to San Francisco is the longest hop, over the roughest country, one pilot each way a day. They use Pilot Rock, Mt. Shasta, Castle Crags, and the Buttes in Sacramento Valley as landmarks on clear days. When stormy they use compass, maps and watch.
    "'Pat' Patterson and A. D. Starbuck are the boys who will pilot the ships over this hop between San Francisco and Medford. These two boys, if on time, will pass each other just a little south of Mt. Shasta.
    "The line has eight planes, six Ryan M-1 monoplanes, which cost $8400 each, with motors, one Travel Air and one Swallow.
    "A ship will be at Medford at all times, also a mechanic.
    "The time is 14 hours from Seattle to Los Angeles, 3½ hours from San Francisco to Medford; 2½ hours, Medford to Vancouver.
    "Passengers will be carried at 12 cents a mile. Service to start in a very short time."
    Postmaster Wm. Warner, who had talked before the club several times before regarding the air mail, presented a map showing the new route, as well as all the routes in the United States, told of the length of the entire lines, as well as the Seattle to Los Angeles lines, explained the connections, lapsed time between Medford and many cities, gave zone rates and other interesting data.
    Visitors were S. M. Bullis, M. W. Hogan, H. C. Galey, Captain Gay and Phil Lawson of the Salvation Army.
    "Rosy" Rosenbaum received the attendance prize, donated by Paul's Electric Store.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1926, page 10

Northbound Plane Trims Time Half-Hour in Trip from South to S.F.
as Coast Service Is Started

Fliers Acclaimed by Crowds and City Officials Along Route;
Reducing of Schedule for Trip Is Forecast

United Press Staff Correspondent.

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15.--Seattle and Los Angeles became 13 hours apart today when airplanes whirred north from the south, and south from the north, to inaugurate the Pacific Coast Air Mail.
    Flying in better than schedule time, the northbound plane, off from Los Angeles at 12:03 o'clock this morning, terminated its hop to San Francisco at 5 a.m., exactly 30 minutes earlier than contemplated.
    The southbound plane hopped off from Seattle at 3:45 a.m., and at Portland was seven minutes behind schedule, according to advices from the north. It took off for Medford at 5:52 a.m., whereas its schedule called for departure at 5:45 o'clock.
    The southbound plane was still behind schedule when it arrived at San Francisco at 12:27 o'clock this afternoon. It took off for Fresno and Los Angeles at 12:40.
    The northbound plane was expected to beat its schedule all the way to Seattle. It was due to arrive in the Puget Sound City at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The southbound ship was believed likely to regain lost time and arrive at Los Angeles according to schedule, at 5 p.m.
    Notwithstanding the slight slipup in the southbound schedule, Vern C. Gorst, president of the "Pat" line, contraction of the name Pacific Air Transport under which the contracting company operates, announced.
    "The first flights indicate that we may be able to reduce the 13-hour schedule between Los Angeles and Seattle. We easily cut a half hour off the flying schedule from Los Angeles to San Francisco with poor weather conditions to contend with, and I am sure that after a trial of a week we will be able to improve the schedule."
    The northbound plane came to rest at Concord field, Contra Costa County, the San Francisco landing field for northbound planes--with 14 sacks of mail.
    Four were transferred to a special plane for conveyance to Crissy Field, San Francisco Presidio. The others, with four sacks from San Francisco, were dispatched north to Medford and Portland.
    Municipal recognition of the airmail inauguration was scheduled on an elaborate scale today in the cities directly located on the airmail route--Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco, California, and Portland and Seattle.
    San Francisco bestowed its official recognition at noon, when Postmaster James E. Power, Mayor James Rolph, Jr., and officials of other bay cities gathered at Crissy Field, landing place for southbound planes, to welcome the machine from the north.
    Postmaster Power announced that the post office department is designing a special 15-cent stamp for use between Los Angeles and Seattle.
    San Francisco, virtually the halfway point on the 1009-mile air mail route, is now, for mail purposes, eight hours from Seattle and five hours from Los Angeles.
    The present flying schedule of the "Pat" line calls for one flight south and one flight north daily. Nine planes are in operation, with others in reserve.
First Coast Mail Plane Reaches Concord
    CONCORD, Sept. 15.--Just before the sunrise this morning the first airplane on the new Los Angeles-Seattle airmail run landed at the government mail field here. It was piloted from Fresno by Vance Breese. Another waiting plane was rushed northward, leaving at 5:37 in the hands of Paul Starbuck, who will carry the mails from here to Medford, Oregon.
    The plane used to transport the mail from here on the northern leg of the trip was brought to Concord yesterday by its builder, L. Gilmore, from Grass Valley. The flight from Grass Valley was made in a little over an hour.
Ship Is 35 Minutes Ahead at Medford
    MEDFORD, Ore., Sept. 15.--In the initial night of two planes in the Pacific air mail service the ship from the north arrived here at 8:38 a.m., 23 minutes behind schedule time, and departed at 8:45 a.m. The San Francisco ship arrived here at 8:40 a.m., 15 min. ahead of schedule, and went on at 9:30 a.m.
    One hundred and fifteen pounds and three ounces of mail came from Portland for Medford.
    The two planes took on here 10,040 pieces of mail, weighing155 pounds.
    The plane from Portland encountered fog the entire distance until it reached the Rogue River Valley. The plane from the south traveled in fog until it reached Mount Shasta and from there both foggy and clear conditions were encountered until the Rogue River Valley was reached, where clear atmosphere prevailed.
    An enormous crowd witnessed the landing and leave-taking of the planes, and the pilots were greeted and congratulated by city officials and local post officials.
    TRACY, Sept. 15.--The monster beacon light located at Tracy is in readiness for the inauguration of the Pacific Air Transport Corporation coast air mail service. This is one of the large lights of 7,500,000 candlepower and revolves at the rate of six times a minute. It is placed on a 50-foot steel frame. There are ten of the large beacons and 14 of 400,000 candlepower at intervals on the route. By the aid of these searchlights a direct night-flying route will be possible.
Oakland Tribune, September 15, 1926, page 1

    This was the third day of the daily Pacific Coast air mail service to and through Medford, which was inaugurated last Wednesday morning, and both the northbound and southbound planes arrived and departed on schedule time this morning, the southbound one arriving at 8 a.m. and departing fifteen minutes later; the northbound plane arrived at 9 a.m. and departed at 9:30 a.m. The two planes passed each other near Shasta Springs, Calif., neither encountering any bad weather.
    The air mail service which arrived mostly heavy souvenir letter mail the first and second days has now settled down to about normal proportions, the post office officials believe, and mostly business letters are now being transported by this service.
    The quick transportation of mail by this service between Medford and Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other points touched by the air mail planes is hard to believe.
    For instance, a 24-hour round trip service is a reality between Medford and Los Angeles. This was brought out by the fact that Floyd Hart of the Tomlin Box Company sent a letter to a business concern at Los Angeles, bearing a special delivery stamp, on the first air mail south last Wednesday, the plane departing at 9:30 a.m.
    The next forenoon shortly after the arrival of the northbound plane at 9 a.m., the answer to this letter was received at the Tomlin Box Company's office.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 17, 1926, page 8

    In a letter received by the Medford Chamber of Commerce from Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Transport Company, holders of the coast air mail route contract, local air mail users are reminded that 10 cents per ounce is sufficient postage to carry a letter to any point on the route within a distance of 1000 miles.
    Mr. Gorst's letter in part is as follows: "It has been brought to our attention several times lately that there seems to be a decided misunderstanding on the part of the public as to the postage necessary for air mail letters. A great many people are putting a two-cent postage stamp on letters in addition to the air mail stamp. This is absolutely unnecessary, as 10 cents per ounce or fraction thereof in excess of 1000 miles is all that is necessary. This makes the postage 10 cents per ounce or fraction thereof between any city on the coast, with the exception of Seattle and Los Angeles, Mail going either north or south out of Medford would require only 10 cents per ounce to any point on the coast."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 11, 1926, page 5

    R. D. Lemert of Los Angeles came to Medford today with pilot Pat Patterson of the air mail service, and continued his journey by air mail plane to Portland.
    Mr. Lemert is the radio engineer with the Pacific Air Transport, and is making the trip over their line arranging to connect all the stations with radios taking the place of telephones now used.
    This is another step forward by the Pacific Air Transport, one of the progressive private air services in the country.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 20, 1926, page 10

    If interest by Southern Oregon people continues in the same measure it has commenced, the Pacific Air Transport company, holders of the coast air mail contract, will keep a commercial plane stationed here permanently for local passenger trips and flying instruction, according to an announcement today. A speedy Waco plane of strong construction, with Wentworth Goss of San Francisco, former army pilot, in charge, has been at the local airport south of the city since last Friday and has already attracted more than the average interest shown in planes by county residents.
    Numerous passengers have been taken up every day since its arrival at prices that are said to be considerably lower than the average charged by other ships that have operated here during the past several years, enabling persons who have not yet been in the air to go up at a remarkably low cost. An interesting ride, it is pointed out, may be procured by two people at $2.50 each, giving a flight of approximately 15 minutes. The regular charge is around $20 an hour to any point in Southern Oregon.
    A flight in the plane yesterday at an elevation of 2500 feet was pronounced ideal, although the sky was cloudy, the clouds being 3000 feet or more higher. At that altitude an entrancing view of the valley could be seen with unusual clearness and in addition snow-capped mountains, never seen from the valley floor, came into view in the southwestern corner in the region above Jacksonville.
    Showing that he is in complete control of the plane at all times, pilot Goss took the ship through several loop-the-loops and wing slips in rapid succession.
    Several students have signed contracts for flying instruction under the personal direction of pilot Goss, considered one of the best instructors on the coast. One student went through a regular lesson yesterday afternoon while a crowd of Medford citizens, gathered at the landing field, watched.
    If the plane is stationed here permanently, it will mark the establishment of the first flying school in Jackson County.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 17, 1926, page 3

    The Oakland Tribune prints the following account of a recent trying trip of an air mail plane from this city, piloted by "Pat" Patterson:
    After winning his third desperate air fight in the past 24 hours against the elements, "Pat" Patterson, daring air mail pilot, fought through a 70-mile-an-hour gale at Eureka.
    The plane, flying against a strong wind, with a third storm threatening momentarily, was sighted over Santa Rosa shortly before noon today, on the last lap of its journey from Medford, Ore. It is a flight which will go down in aviation history as one of the most remarkable tests of endurance ever made on the coast, air service men say.
    Patterson landed his plane at Eureka late yesterday afternoon after spending nine hours battling storms between Medford and that city. He had started from Medford at eight o'clock that morning, taking the regular inland course.
    In the Mount Shasta region he encountered a terrific snow storm. He then decided to try the coast route, but fifty miles south of Eureka he ran into another storm and for twenty minutes matched his wits against the force and tumult of a seventy-mile gale.
    Finally overpowered by the elements but still flying, he turned back to Eureka and made his landing. At seven o'clock this morning he started out again and within a short time had once more become involved in a storm but was reported by observers along the coast to be winning his fight.
    Patterson, a veteran flier although little more than a youth, was physically exhausted when he stepped from his plane yesterday afternoon. His face had been whipped by the wind until it was burned and bleeding, his eyes were swollen and red despite the protection of his goggles, and his hands were scarcely able to manipulate his steering stick.
    Urged by fellow fliers to give up the battle and permit another, fresher man to take up the flight in his stead, Patterson flatly refused and after being revived with stimulants and a short rest undertook to win his one-man war against the elements and continue toward the bay with his cargo of mail.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 3, 1926, page 4

    Airships that pass in the night, speeding U.S. mail and enterprising passengers to their destinations, no longer grope their way uncertainly through the midnight clouds.
    Powerful beacon lights erected on steel towers guide the mail planes of the Pacific Air Transport from Seattle to Los Angeles just as the lighthouses along the coast keep ships at sea on their bearings.
    C. N. Comstock, vice president of the Pacific Air Transport, says 26 of these automatic rotating beacons have been established, at a cost of more than $25,000, to complete the first and longest electric lighted airway in the West.
    There are 17 of these huge beacon towers between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and nine between Seattle and the Golden Gate.
    In order to provide adequate light to guide the airmail pilots into their various airports over this 1100-mile route and keep them on the safest course, the beacons are divided into two sizes. Nine of them have 7,500,000-candlepower globes erected on 50-foot towers at strategic points. The 17 smaller lights are 400,000 candlepower each and rotate on 40-foot towers, set at necessary intervals between the larger beacon towers.
    The Hollywood beacon is one of the smaller lights and is located on the top of one of the highest knolls in the Hollywood Hills directly north of the Los Angeles P.A.T. airport.
    These beacons are connected with electric power lines along the coast and are operated automatically by a clock attachment which turns them on and sets them rotating at nightfall and extinguishes and stops them at daybreak.
    J. L. Mushett, division superintendent for Southern California, who has his headquarters at the Los Angeles terminal of the Pacific Air Transport at Exposition Boulevard and Angeles Mesa Drive, sends a man out once a week to inspect the string of beacon lights in his division and see that they are in good working order.
    "We certainly appreciate those lights," said Vance Breese, veteran pilot, who is one of the regulars in the airmail service for the company. "Although it is almost always possible to pick out roads and railroads from the air, even on the darkest nights, these beacons tell us just which way to head, and about how high to fly, for most of them are on the highest point in each beacon section.
    "The flying time from Los Angeles to San Francisco is five hours and to Seattle, 14 hours for both mail and passengers. Only 1000 miles a day."
Oxnard Daily Courier, Oxnard, California, December 9, 1926, page 3

Low-Flying Machine Rams into Face of Butte near Mt. Ashland Mine This Morning--Woodcutters Rescue Aviator--Mail Saved--Machine Total Wreck--Plane Southbound in Murky Weather.
    Southbound air mail plane No. 3, piloted by Pat Patterson, flying low in a heavy fog, crashed into the face of a butte near the Mt. Ashland mine about 11:15 this morning, completely wrecking the plane and causing precarious injuries to the pilot. The plane fell about 200 feet, landing near a canyon.
    Patterson, according to a superficial examination at the scene of the accident and at the hospital, is suffering from a deep gash over the right eye, a crushed left hip, a badly broken left leg, and the inside of his right hand is burned from contact with the gas pipe.
    The plane crashed head-on into the face of the mountain and toppled on its side, Patterson being pinned down by the wreckage. Woodcutters, 200 yards away, saw the accident and rushed to the plane. They extricated Patterson, hauled him on a sled two miles to the Pacific Highway, where an ambulance brought him to the Sacred Heart Hospital in this city.
    According to Jesse Brown of Talent, and the other woodcutters, the plane was flying very low, barely missing the tops of their shacks, and they called to him to be careful. The tops of three pine trees were knocked off by the plane, according to Traffic Officer Charles Talent, who went to the scene immediately.
    It is supposed that striking the trees hurled the plane into the mountain. Both wings were torn off. Rain clouds obscured the vision, and the visibility was poor at the time.
    When the woodcutters arrived, the gas tank was resting on Patterson's head, but the force of its fall had been broken by a limb. Wreckage was piled upon Patterson, who regained consciousness and warned his rescuers against the dangers of fire.
    The accident occurred two miles south of Talent, in the foothills of the Siskiyous on the Mrs. Phillips ranch.
    Deputy Game Warden Roy Parr and Traffic Officer Charles Talent rushed to the scene and took charge of the mail, and later turned it over to a postal inspector from this city and Postmaster W. J. Warner. None of the mail was destroyed. It was consigned to California points and from the city only.
    When pilot Patterson reached the hospital at one o'clock he was greeted by his wife, the couple living in this city. The wounded bird man recognized her, but was too weak to talk. He then lapsed into a coma.
    Patterson is regarded as a skillful and careful aviator, and this was his first accident. Today's fatality was the first to occur since the inauguration of the air mail service by the Pacific Air Transport company on this part of the line.
    An X-ray examination of Patterson to determine the extent of his injuries is underway at the hospital this afternoon under the direction of Dr. E. B. Pickel.
    At three o'clock this afternoon Patterson was removed from the surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital, and Dr. Pickel reported that the pilot had a good chance for recovery. He is suffering from a severe shock, and his broken leg will not be set until in the morning. The X-ray revealed no internal injuries.
    Patterson, in a short statement, attributed the accident to the failure of his mechanical instruments to function properly, and he thought he was higher. He realized his danger when he hit the tops of trees, and vainly endeavored to rise.
    Postmaster Warner thinks that pilot Patterson saw a light through the clouds and dove through it against the side of a steep mountainside 700 feet up. The front of the plane was embedded in the soft dirt and prevented the machine from toppling down into the canyon.
    Mrs. Patterson was at the hospital when her husband arrived and was calm, though facing a storm of emotions. She cheered her mate when he was brought into the hospital ward.
    The mail bags on the wrecked plane were returned to this city and will be sent south in the morning.
    Art Starbuck arrived at Medford from San Francisco with the mail at 2:30 p.m., being late owing to fog all along the route. He landed at Yreka en route here. The mail will be sent from here to Portland by train this evening.
    No attempt was made to leave Vancouver, Wash., with the southbound mail today owing to fog.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 16, 1926, page 1

Will Be Completed This Week for Air Mail Reports from This City--First Aerological Tests Taken Today--Christmas Air Mail Rush Starts

    Taking the first practical tests at 7 o'clock this morning, the benefits to the coast air mail of the United States aerological station, established here this week, were clearly shown. The results were so conclusive that the station was doubly regarded as a boon to the air mail service, which has a terminal here. Results of the tests, which are taken twice daily by D. M. Little, transferred to Medford from Ithaca, N.Y., will be broadcast from the airport daily by the means of a wireless telegraph station now being installed and which will keep in touch with San Francisco on the south and Vancouver, Wash., on the north.
    The wireless station, which is now being installed, is similar to those used on the transcontinental line, and will be in charge of an operator who as yet has not been chosen. The installation of the equipment is in the personal charge of the air company's radio expert and is expected to be completed by Christmas Day. The new addition will do much to eliminate the sending of telegrams from this city to points up and down the coast, as the station will be powerful enough to keep in touch with the terminus at each end of the air mail route.
    While the weather, states Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Mail Transport company, who arrived in Medford yesterday from San Francisco, is ideal in Southern Oregon, north- and southbound ships were delayed somewhat today because of adverse weather beyond the Siskiyou Mountains and to the north.
    The Christmas rush for the air mail is getting under way, as evidenced by the fact that over 300 pounds of mail, a quantity much larger than the average, left San Francisco this morning for northern points, and the bulk is expected to materially increase before the apex of the rush has been reached and passed.
    "The mail system is working to perfection," said Mr. Gorst today, "and I have every reason to believe that the coast route will bring better results than we dared hope at first to expect. In fact, everything is fine."
    Enabled by information furnished by the station, this morning's southbound plane was able to fly to San Francisco in far less time than schedule by rising to a height of 13,500 feet, where the wind was blowing at a rate of 82 miles per hour from the north, directly in an opposite direction from the surface air currents, which came from the south.
    Sending up a three-foot hydrogen-filled balloon, unhampered by captive ropes, the wind was found to be flowing at a rate of four miles per hour 750 feet from the ground. Results of the tests at different heights are as follows: 1500 feet, six miles per hour from the southeast; 3000 feet, 12 miles per hour from the east; 4500 feet, 21 miles per hour from the northeast; 6000 feet, 23 miles from the same direction; 7000 feet, 41 miles from the northeast; 12,000 feet, 66 miles per hour from the north; 13,500, 82 miles from the north.
    Equipped with delicate instruments, Mr. Little is able to determine wind speed by the means of the angles the balloons take when blown by the air current. The exact altitude is made certain by the fact that the balloon rises at the rate of 500 feet per minute, the angles being observed at half-minute periods. When the 82-mile-per-hour gale was checked, the balloon had traveled approximately 10 miles from the airport where it had been released.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1926, page 1

Expected to Reach Local Airport Late This Afternoon--Central Point Man Named Radio Operator--Air Company Business Meet.
    Due to foggy conditions, which are reported to be prevalent up and down the Pacific Coast, coast air mail ships failed to arrive at the local airport today up until a late hour this afternoon. They are, however, expected to arrive on schedule tomorrow. The 500-watt wireless telegraph, recently installed at the airport, has been in operation for several days, sending on 46-meter wavelength.
    As soon as weather conditions allow, two ships will be placed on the Medford-Portland run, one ship each being left here for both routes at all times while the others are making trips.
    George Johnson of Central Point, who has been in Los Angeles for a short time past, is the radio operator stationed here, having been on duty for several days. The local station is strong enough to reach Washington, D.C., and in case of extreme emergencies may be used by local residents.
    PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 4.--(AP)--Stockholders of the Pacific Air Transport Company, holder of the Pacific Coast air mail contract, met here yesterday afternoon and adjourned until February 11 after considering part of the business in hand. Stockholders present held the operation and prospects of the company were satisfactory.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 4, 1927, page 1

Warm Rain Saves Pilot Bookwalter from Second Forced Landing on Trip to This City--Three Planes Weather Handicapped Upstate.
    Pilot Vernon Bookwalter of the air mail service reached this city late yesterday afternoon after a hazardous trip through the Willamette Valley due to ice forming on the rigging of the plane. A warm rain the pilot encountered when a forced landing was threatening melted the coating of ice, and the trip was completed without further incident.
    The plane, according to the report of the trip, was forced to land at Salem, when a coating of ice broke a wing truss. The landing was made in a field near the state hospital and attracted much attention from the inmates. A fire was built and a hot meal served the aviators. The truss was repaired and the southward flight was resumed.
    PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 24.--(AP)--Three air mail planes were forced to land in the vicinity of Salem Sunday on account of the weather. One southbound plane landed near Silverton, and was damaged by striking on muddy ground. This plane was in charge of pilot Small of Seattle. Another southbound plane in charge of Vern Bookwalter landed on a farm a few miles south of Salem because of trouble with a wing. This plane resumed its flight after a relief plane brought a repair part.
    A northbound plane piloted by A. D. Starbuck was forced to land about ten miles south of Salem at 1:30 yesterday afternoon because of fog and rain. Clearing weather enabled the pilot of resume his flight at 2:35.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 24, 1927, page 1

    Pilot Miller of the Pacific Air Transport, piloting a mail plane, made the journey between this city and Portland yesterday in one hour and 40 minutes, according to information received at the local airport. This is record time.
    The speed obtained was due to taking full advantage of the observations of observer Little, in charge of the local aerological station, who found that at the height of approximately 8000 feet the wind was blowing from the south at the rate of 75 miles per hour. Pilot Miller rose to this elevation and with the gale behind made fast time.
    The same wind aided pilot Starbuck, who Saturday made the trip from San Francisco to this city in two hours and 55 minutes, also considered good time.
    The trips of both planes were without incident.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 6, 1927, page 8

Six Use Service to Reach South During Tie-Up--Wait for Chance to Cross Siskiyou Mountains--Klamath River District Is Flooded.
    PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 23.--(AP)--Six passengers escaped the passenger tie-up at Medford during this week's storm by using southbound mail planes. N. B. Evans, in charge of the local office of the Pacific Air Transport Company, said most of them were carried to San Francisco but some were landed at Yreka, Cal., where they could take the train again. The storm caused some delay in air service but was no serious hindrance.
    The southbound plane made five attempts to leave the Eugene field Tuesday before it got above the storm. Service between Medford and Redding, Cal., has been carried on despite squalls in the Siskiyous, the pilots waiting at either end of the jump for fair spells.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 23, 1927, page 1

    Leaving Portland yesterday afternoon at 3:30, Lieutenant Oakley G. Kelly, commander of the government flying field at Vancouver, Wash., arrived in Medford last evening at 6:15 with 500 pounds of yeast destined for local consumption. Lieutenant Kelly left at noon today for San Francisco, where he will spend a week or more on official business and will probably obtain a new airship before returning to his headquarters.
    On the trip from Portland he encountered very stormy weather until he reached Eugene due to wind and rain, above which he could not fly because of his heavy load. In order to keep the plane on an even keel, he was forced to hold onto the control stick with both hands for a large share of the journey to Eugene. Flares were prepared to be used when he landed there, but were not lit due to the fact that darkness had not entirely settled.
    The yeast, which was to fill the local supply, was taken in charge by William Rice, West Eleventh street, who is the local agent for the Fleischmann Yeast Company.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 23, 1927, page 3

    An interesting talk on aviation and all its branches was enjoyed by a large gathering of forum members and their guests at the regular Copco forum luncheon today.  Seely V. Hall, a director of the Pacific Air Transport Co., was the speaker of the day and delivered an address on aviation which scored a big hit with all present. Mr. Hall reviewed the early stages of aviation and told of the remarkable progress which has been made along those lines in late years. Of particular interest was a report on the development and growth of the air mail business, showing how this speedy, up-to-date method of postal delivery is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds. The Pacific Air Transport Co. is now second best paying contract air mail line in the United States.
    Mr. Hall stated that his company planned the installation of special passenger equipment, consisting of cabin ships, capable of carrying six passengers, along about June 15. Another statement of interest concerned the lighting of the local air field with a huge 7,500,000-candlepower beacon and border lights around the field. This improvement is scheduled for early June and will prove a valuable aid to night flying in this vicinity.
    Lloyd Williamson, who entered the air service 10 years ago at the same time Mr. Hall did, acted as chairman of the meeting and supplemented his talk with a few additional points of interest. Among the guests present were E. J. Rosenauer of San Francisco, western district auditor for H. M. Byllesby & Co., C. R. Braley of the General Electric Co., W. L. Fitzpatrick, general auditor of the Mountain States Power Co. of Tacoma, Wash., and O. G. Steele, Copco division manager of Yreka, Calif.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 3, 1927, page 3

Cabin Monoplane for Pacific Coast Route
    Faith in the future of regular and comfortable passenger travel by air up and down the Pacific Coast has been shown by the Pacific Air Transport Company, coastwise air mail and passenger firm, with the placing of an order for a cabin monoplane to be used on its route.
    The purchase was made by Vern C. Gorst, P.A.T. president, from the Travel Air company of Wichita, Kans., and it was indicated that the new enclosed ship would reach the coast late this week.
    The plane is the first of its make to be placed in service anywhere in the country and the second cabin ship to be used on the Pacific Coast, the only other being in operation between Los Angeles and San Diego.
    Of the most modern design, the Travel airplane has cabin space of about 118 cubic feet, with accommodations either for six passengers without mail cargo, or four passengers with postal pouches. The ship is powered by a Wright J-4 Whirlwind radial motor of 200 horsepower, has a glass-enclosed pilothouse and cockpit and heating apparatus for use in winter flying.
    In a recent 1200-mile test flight through the Middle West, the Travel Air cabin monoplane showed an average of 110 miles an hour cruising speed and high speed of 125 miles an hour. Further indicating its airworthiness, it was flown for 100 miles without the pilot touching the controls.
    The cabin plane purchased is the most advanced step yet taken toward the perfection of air passenger travel along the coast. Mr. Gorst indicated that other similar ships would be ordered in the near future to accommodate the fast-growing passenger business.
    According to plans, the Travel Air cabin plane first will be taken over the entire P.A.T. route, which extends from Seattle, through Portland, to Los Angeles, it will be pleased for a time in regular service between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the schedule calling for departure from Los Angeles at 7 a.m. daily except on Mondays, and arrival at San Francisco at noon. The return journeys will be made from San Francisco with the regular southbound mail in addition to passengers at 1:15 p.m., with the plane due at Los Angeles at 6:15 p.m.
    Noel B. Evans, P.A.T. traffic manager, announced that another open ship is planned for the Los Angeles-San Francisco route to furnish late mail service south, the plane to leave San Francisco at midnight and arrive at Los Angeles at 5:30 a.m.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1927, page B6

    The first cabin monoplane to be seen in Medford is scheduled to arrive at the local air field Wednesday forenoon en route from San Francisco to Portland with Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Transport Company, aboard. The transport company, holders of the Pacific Coast air mail contract, plans to put the new six-passenger Fokker plane into regular service between Portland and Seattle, after being generally exhibited throughout the Northwest.
    The ship is similar to the type used by Commander Byrd in conquering the North Pole last year and is said to be the last word in comfortable air transportation. The passengers are protected from the rigors of flying in the enclosed cabin, which is heated and also noiseless. The original plan of the company had been only to operate one ship, which is now being used between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the company was accorded the opportunity to procuring two at the same time.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 18, 1927, page 5

    The furniture for the office of the local branch of the United States Aerological Service, which is maintained here for the benefit of the air mail service, with D. M. Little in charge, has at last arrived and been installed this week in that office on the fourth floor of the Liberty Building. Of course, the field headquarters of the local branch are at the airplane landing field.
    The aerological service here greatly aids the pilots of the Pacific Air Transport Company in making good time between here and San Francisco and Vancouver, Wash., and vice versa. A good illustration of this was yesterday's doings at the air mail field.
    The daily balloon sent up by Mr. Little at 6:40 a.m. yesterday revealed that a 40-mile south wind was prevailing at an elevation of 8,500 feet above Medford. Hence when pilot Miller, flying south, arrived here at 9 a.m., and was about to start on the return trip north with the northbound mail, which had just been brought in by the air mail plane from San Francisco, Mr. Little told him to fly at the 8,500-foot elevation, so as to take advantage of the wind, which would increase the average flying time of 100 miles an hour speed to about 140 miles an hour gait
Medford Mail Tribune, April 27, 1927, page 3

    With ideal weather governing the entire run from San Francisco to Medford, Art Starbuck, Pacific Air Transport pilot, made the trip this morning in the short time of three hours and five minutes. Mr. Starbuck, who has been a pilot for some time, in speaking of the missing French transatlantic aviators, is of the opinion that the French plane is in the ocean.
    He advances the theory that the ship might have encountered an ice storm--rain freezing to the ship as quickly as it hits--and that the weight became too great for the one-motored plane.
    Arriving this morning from San Francisco in a Fokker cabin plane, Vern C. Gorst, president of the Pacific Air Transport Company, left this forenoon for Portland, accompanied by H. H. Blee of Washington, D.C., senior business specialist of the United States Chamber of Commerce, who spoke here yesterday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Hotel Medford. This city was one of the eight stops Mr. Blee is making while on the Pacific Coast while on a lecture tour to create more public interest in aviation.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 14, 1927, page 6

    PORTLAND, Ore., May 20.--(AP)--The Pacific Air Transport today established regular passenger cabin airplane service between Portland and Seattle and announced excursion rates effective for 30 days.
    The big Fokker planes, which are capable of carrying four passengers and air mail, will leave Pierson field at Vancouver barracks at noon, and arrive at Seattle at 1:30. Returning, the plane will leave the air mail field, Seattle, at 2 p.m., and arrive at Pierson field at 3:30.
    N. B. Evans, traffic manager of the Pacific Air Transport, in announcing the service today said that the company will offer for thirty days a special fare of $12 one way, and round trip $20, effective for 30 days. He said that the amount of patronage would determine whether the low fares would be continued.
    "We want to give the public an opportunity to try air transportation in cabin planes, so that the people can learn the comforts and advantages of this air travel. These fares are the lowest ever established in the world."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 20, 1927, page 5

    Many people were surprised that young Lindbergh reached Paris, but not the pilots of the Pacific Air Transport, which carries the mail up and down the coast from Medford. These young men were a unit in believing the "Flying Fool" would make the grade. For they knew what his machine would do, as it is practically the same machine that is being used by the P.A.T. It has the Wright whirlwind plane and the Ryan body, the only difference being the mail planes allow the pilot to view fore and aft while Lindbergh's cockpit was enclosed and he had to use a periscope to see the path ahead. At all the P.A.T. stations there was great rejoicing when the Associated Press announced Lindbergh's landing, for every employee felt that they shared in this great victory of the Ryan-Wright machine.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1927, page 3

    While practically isolated from the world, a narrow mountain trail of a very steep grade affording the only egress, P. E. Neff, fire lookout on the summit of Wagner Butte on the southern edge of the valley, this morning enjoyed accounts of the Sharkey-Dempsey fight published by this morning's San Francisco newspapers, which are dropped by Ralph Virden, Pacific Air Transport flier, as he was flying to Medford from San Francisco on his daily mail trip. The copies landed very close to the station and were easily found.
    Virden made an attempt to drop copies there a short time before, but was unsuccessful, the papers falling in  a spot where they were never found. With the last attempt successful, he will probably fly over the station numerous times this summer, giving Neff, who is very grateful for this unusual service, the latest news of the day.
    Pilot R. Cunningham, who has the Portland to Medford run for the Pacific Air Transport Company, has also dropped papers to a station in the Umpqua mountains, according to the local landing field.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 22, 1927, page 5

    The air mail service pilots on the San Francisco-Medford-Portland run continue every now and then to gladden the lookouts at some of the more isolated forest lookout stations along or nearby their regular flying route.
    The latest instance of this kind to be recorded was when Ralph Virden, pilot of the northbound daily plane, arrived at the local landing field this morning and stated that when he flew over China Mountain, of the high mountain range near Mt. Shasta, at an elevation of over 1000 feet, he dropped a San Francisco paper of this morning to the lookout there.
    This station is one of the most isolated on the Pacific Coast, and after Virden had dropped the paper he could see the lookout turning handsprings of delight to express his gratitude. It is said that sometimes when the pilots cannot get hold of a late newspaper to drop at some isolated lookout station, they drop an old magazine instead.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1927, page 4

    Medford has the distinction of probably being the only airport in the United States with cows pastured on the landing field, which have been bothering the arriving and departing aviators.
    It seems that the aviators of the Pacific Air Transport have been so pestered at times to such an extent with some of the half dozen or more cows pastured on the landing field by the caretaker of the county fairgrounds, on which the airport is located, and others, that they have complained and asked to have the nuisance abolished.
    In heed to this complaint, orders have just been issued to have these cows more securely tied on the fairgrounds that they cannot get loose and browse along the runways.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 21, 1927, page 8

    Preparations for the celebration of the first anniversary of the establishment of the Pacific Air Transport from Los Angeles to Seattle on September 15 are now underway, according to officials of the company, and there are to be special features on that day. The main feature will be the escorting of the mail plane from Portland to San Francisco by Charles Lindbergh.
    Special air mail stamps are being printed, which will be used on the anniversary of the first flight. These stamps will be on sale locally soon. It is expected that there will be a large quantity of mail on that day, as persons all over the United States will be seeking the special stamps. Stamps which were used on the first flight are now selling for $1 each among collectors of stamps.
    It will be recalled that when the first air mail bag left Medford, there was an extra large quantity of mail waiting to be sent. Medford sent more pounds on the initial flight than Portland. At that time the Medford field was the only landing in Oregon.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1927, page 5

PAT Carried 7477 Pounds Mail During August
    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 2.--(Special to Mail Tribune.)--Air mail weights between Pacific Coast cities during August increased nearly five percent, according to the carrier's traffic report made public today by A. K. Humphries, vice president of Pacific Air Transport, coastwise air mail, passenger and express line.
    These figures are the highest reached by PAT in nearly a year of operation up and down the coast six days a week. A total of 6,477 pounds of mail was carried last month as compared to 6,177 pounds in July. Advertising agencies and news photo services are listed among the heaviest users of coastwise air mail.
    Express service between coast airports starts today at the low rate of $1.44 per pound between San Francisco and Seattle and 75 cents per pound between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with correspondingly lower rates between intermediate airports.
    The average of air mail out of Medford for June, July and August was 382 pounds. In June there was 362 pounds, July 406, August 377.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1927, page B4

    Vice president A. K. Humphries of the Pacific Air Transport, located at the San Francisco office, was in Medford today transacting business at the airport with Seely Hall, manager of the port.
    Mr. Humphreys says the company is well pleased with the support and patronage the Medford people are giving them and that the port here will be enlarged as the demand increases. He also says the amount of air mail is increasing all along the line.
    Wednesday, Sept. 15th is the first anniversary of P.A.T., and it will be celebrated all along the route from Seattle to Los Angeles. Everyone should send at least one letter or more to friends by air mail on that day.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 10, 1927, page 6

    Because of a change made in the schedule of the northbound air mail plane of the Pacific Air Transport, due to Tacoma, Wash., having been added to the air mail service route since September 7, the Medford public is warned that air mail for the north must be deposited in the post office by 8:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., as heretofore, because the plane for the north departs a half hour earlier. No change has been made in the time of arrival of the southbound plane, 9:30 a.m. daily.
    Postmaster Warner also calls attention to the fact that the air mail deposited in the street boxes, in the business district only, will be "pulled" at 6:15 a.m. daily, and that all air mail going out either north or south, and deposited after 6:15 a.m., must be deposited at the post office to connect with the air mail planes departing from the city that day.
    All air mail for the East goes by the southbound plane, which connects daily at San Francisco with the transcontinental air mail planes.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 27, 1927, page 3

    PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 8.--(AP)--Announcement was made here today that the West Coast Aerial Transport Company would start service between Portland and Seattle, December 1, with two giant monoplanes, making round trips with passengers and express. On April 1 ten similar planes will be put in service between Seattle, Portland, Medford, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Each will carry two pilots, eight passengers and 1000 pounds of baggage, it was said.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1927, page 2


    Nearly 300,000 letters and parcels were sent by air mail between all coast cities last month, reports A. K. Humphries, vice president of the Pacific Air Transport company. The total weight was 7365 pounds, a gain of 565 pounds over the preceding month's cargo.
    Improved facilities for overcoming treacherous weather are believed to account for the increasing patronage of the air mail service between coast cities. Extra planes are stationed at strategic points in Southern California and the air mail is rushed to these planes when the airport is fogbound.To combat adverse weather in the Pacific Northwest, a specially built motorcycle manned by a former race driver is held in readiness to carry the mail to the southbound plane beyond the bad weather area.
    Fred Speers and Claude Conn, editor and business manager of the Daily, will take the Pacific Air Transport line to Seattle Sunday.
Stanford Daily, Palo Alto, California, October 14, 1927, page 1

    There was a heavy fog during last night and early today, as a consequence of which the mail planes of the Pacific Air Transport, both north- and southbound, were delayed. The northbound plane arrived first, the pilot having to come by a roundabout route to skirt the fog.
    The fog was so dense about 4:30 o'clock this morning that L. Walter Dick, in charge of the local weather bureau, and his assistant, Dwight Randall, had to forgo the daily morning sending up of the air tests balloon, when they discovered that they could not see the balloon beyond a distance upward of 600 feet.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 27, 1927, page 3

    PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 31.--(AP)--J. R. Cunningham, air mail pilot, had the thrill of his life today when his ship of the sky became laden with heavy ice to make it resemble an ice-cloaked ship of the sea.
    Six times between Eugene and Portland today he was forced to land in fields and crack off the ice with a pair of pliers so that he could continue with a bag of mail that was due in Portland tonight.
    "I left Medford at 1:20 p.m.," he said in relating the experience tonight. "Everything went well until I neared Eugene, when the machine was heavily laden with ice from a sort of individual silver thaw that I had up there at 500 feet all by my lonesome. Over Eugene I spiraled up to 1000 feet to a warmer strata of air and the ice all melted off.
    "Eugene folks must have had a thrill as I streaked over their city in trying to lose the ice. From 4000 feet I again spiraled downward to 500 feet and leveled off for the straightaway.
    "Coming on north, however, the cloud banks hung around 800 to 1000 feet all the way and there was no warm strata of air that I could reach. As the ice formed heavily upon the propeller, wings, struts and wires, the plane was slowed down to about half of its normal speed and threatened not to go at all unless I got rid of the ice.
    "There was only one thing to do--that was to crack the ice. So I landed in fields--first between Eugene and Brownsville, then north of Brownsville, between Lebanon and Stayton, between Stayton and Silverton, west of Silverton and a little north of Mount Angel. From there to the Vancouver flying field I kept my altitude, although I came to the field at last with plenty of ice hanging on."
    Cunningham landed at 5:10 p.m.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page 1

    The fall and winter season had been practically free from fog until about two weeks ago, since which time there has been almost continuous fog, varying from light to dense, with the past two days characterized by a dense wet fog. Inquiry this noon developed that the fog has not seriously inconvenienced the air mail planes, beyond being a trifle delayed from their usual scheduled time of arrival and departure here.
    While the local weather bureau cannot say how long this foggy spell will continue, probable rain is predicted for tonight and Tuesday and a moderate temperature. The fog makes chilly weather, and yesterday's maximum of 42 was only 10 degrees warmer than this morning's minimum of 32. The precipitation of yesterday was .01 of an inch.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1928, page 3

    PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 14.--(AP)--Purchase of the Pacific Air Transport Company, first contract holder for air mail on the Pacific Coast, by the Boeing Transport Company of Seattle, was reported today by the Portland Telegram.
    The Pacific Air Transport Company was formed by Vern C. Gorst, Portland and obtained a government contract handling air mail between Seattle and Los Angeles. It recently completed a profitable year of service.
    The Boeing Transport Company is a subsidiary of the Boeing aircraft manufacturing firm of Seattle.
    The Telegram says official report of the sale is expected to be made Monday when the Gorst organization holds its annual meeting. Amount of money involved in the deal was not reported today.
    SEATTLE, Jan. 14.--(AP)--Officials of the Boeing Transport Company announced here this afternoon at the firm had acquired a "substantial interest" in the Pacific Air Transport Company, first contract holder for air mail on the Pacific Coast.
    Immediate construction of new planes to be used on the Seattle-Los Angeles air mail line will be started by the Boeing Airplane Company here.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 14, 1928, page 1

Seattle Concern Acquires Big Interest in Pacific Air Transport Company
System to Be Operated Along Same Lines as the N.Y.-S.F. Planes.
    Announcement was made Friday noon from the Boeing Air Transport, Inc., offices, Newhouse Hotel building, of interest to airmail operations, when Vice President Edward Hubbard, returning from San Francisco, gave out the information that his company operating the transcontinental route from Chicago to the Pacific Coast had acquired a substantial interest in the Pacific Air Transport, operating the airmail line between Seattle and Los Angeles. Acquisition of this interest in the coastal line gives the Boeing Air Transport full operation and a share in the operation of 3100 miles of air transport. Coincident with the announcement, Mr. Hubbard said that from this date the Pacific Air Transport will be operated along the lines of the policy of the Boeing company.
    Under the new arrangement, Philip G, Johnson, president of the Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle, and the Boeing Air Transport, Inc. becomes president of the Pacific Air Transport; A. K. Humphries is vice president and general manager, and Vern C. Gorst, former president and manager, becomes a vice president. For the time, there is to be no other change in the P.A.T. personnel, Mr. Hubbard announced.
    Mr. Hubbard also announced that the Pacific Air Transport is to re-equip its line with planes from the Boeing plant in Seattle, an order having been placed this week. The coastline has operated with eight planes and the replacement calls for the latest model Boeing ship, which is a four-passenger type, with Pratt-Whitney motors. These new ships will be on the line before the first of May, it is announced.
    The Pacific Air Transport has been in operation since September, 1926, when the bid for the route was awarded to Mr. Gorst, who organized the company. For several months now the company has been carrying passengers in addition to its mail contract, and there has been with that line, like all others, a steady increase in mail poundage.
    Until the beginning of operations, July 1, by the Boeing Air Transport of the Chicago-Salt-Lake-San Francisco transcontinental line, the Pacific Air Transport was the longest contract route in the United States, with the Chicago-Dallas line second. The distance from Chicago to San Francisco is approximately 2000 miles.
    "We are in the midst of severe tests on airmail transport," said Mr. Hubbard, who has been on an inspection trip of the western end of his lines, "as weather figures as a big factor. And while all lines are experiencing delays because of storms, I find the private operators are maintaining a schedule above the average maintained by the government during its period of operations."
Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 21, 1928, page 24

Resting Easy in Dunsmuir, Cal., Hospital--Caught in Huge Snow Swirl and Sucked Down--Pilot Well Known Here, on Way South.

    REDDING, Jan. 23.--(AP)--Arthur D. Starbuck, air mail pilot, who crashed in his plane yesterday at Shasta Springs in a snowstorm while flying from Portland to San Francisco, was resting easy today and will recover, physicians said. He is in a hospital at Dunsmuir.
    Starbuck regained consciousness last night. His left leg was fractured above the ankle and his chest crushed in on his right side. He also has bad cuts about the face and head. His wife and a San Francisco physician are with him. They came by airplane.
    The flier said he was suddenly caught in a huge swirl of snow, swept over a small hill above Shasta Springs and sucked downward, crashing against a telephone pole, almost opposite the Shasta Springs railway station.
    Starbuck is a pilot for the Pacific Air Transport Company.
    SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23.--(AP)--A more thorough examination today disclosed that Arthur D. Starbuck, air mail pilot, flying from Portland to San Francisco, was not seriously injured yesterday when his plane crashed at Shasta Springs as was at first believed. The Pacific Air Transport Company, employers of Starbuck, said the flier had a fractured ankle and painful abrasions, but was recovering.
    Starbuck is in a hospital at Dunsmuir, where he was taken after he crashed in a snowstorm. He will be brought to San Francisco when he is able to be moved. His wife is with him. She left by airplane shortly after the accident.
    The mail Starbuck was carrying was brought to San Francisco by train.
Relief Pilot Named
    Jesse Hart of San Francisco will be Starbuck's relief pilot, according to information from the local air mail headquarters. However, no definite advice has been received. Starbuck's condition this forenoon was reported to be improving and local air mail attaches were confident of his recovery.
    Starbuck is well known in this city and is especially remembered for an airplane stunt exhibition he gave during the jubilee celebration here last September. He turned 12 loops without stopping. He is regarded as one of the best air mail pilots on the Pacific Coast and knew Colonel Lindbergh when the latter was in San Diego.
    DUNSMUIR, Cal., Jan. 22.--Blinded by a heavy snow storm, Arthur Starbuck, veteran air mail pilot, crashed his plane into a telegraph pole in front of the depot at Shasta City, three miles north of here Sunday and was injured.
    Starbuck regained consciousness several hours after the crash.
    His unconscious body was extricated from the twisted wreckage by a railroad gang ,which hacked its way through the steel and wood and canvas before it was able to reach him.
    His wife rushed to his bedside by plane and auto. She was accompanied by Dr. Bonnell, Starbuck's family physician.
    In its descent to the tracks, Starbuck's plane smashed against a telephone pole, snapping it off at the base. The plane was wrecked.
    Word of the accident reached Mrs. Starbuck through officials of the Pacific Air Transport Company at San Francisco. She insisted on rushing to Dunsmuir without the slightest delay and a Fokker cabin monoplane was supplied her by the company. The plane, bearing Mrs. Starbuck and Dr. Bonnell, arrived in Redding and the party resumed its journey to Dunsmuir by automobile.
    Starbuck was flying from Medford to San Francisco when he encountered the snow storm, which was so heavy that he could not see. He had turned around and was flying north following the railroad track, which was the only visible landmark.
    He did not see the pole until a second before his plane struck it, he told his attendants.
    The plane was badly wrecked, and the 12 sacks of mail it was carrying were taken on to San Francisco by train.
    The injured airman, immediately after his form was extricated from the mass of wreckage, was placed on board a caboose of the Southern Pacific Company and taken to Dunsmuir.
    Sunday's crash was almost identical in several details to a forced landing made in the Shasta region by the experienced pilot on November 24, 1926. At that time Starbuck contended with a similar storm, but was uninjured. He was able to bring his craft to earth safely. On that occasion he had battled the terrific storm over the lofty pinnacle of Mt. Shasta for three hours before he was forced to turn back and land.
    He left Medford at 10:45 a.m., Sunday, scheduled time. He was due in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m.
    He was the first to negotiate the Medford-San Francisco air mail route when the Pacific Air Transport Company took over the mail contract on September 15, 1926.
    Art Starbuck, mail pilot, whose mail plane crashed into a mountainside early Sunday near Shasta Springs, Cal., was employed in August, 1926, as a PAT pilot to fly a mail plane from San Francisco to Medford, and is well known in this city. Starbuck's home is in San Francisco. He is 33, married, and has one son. He is an ex-army pilot.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 23, 1928, page 1

    Arthur Starbuck, air mail pilot between Medford and San Francisco, who sustained painful, but not serious injuries Sunday forenoon when his plane was wrecked near Shasta Springs, Cal., was reported to be in good condition today, according to Seely Hall, air mail company director of Medford, who called the Dunsmuir hospital this afternoon. Mr. Hall returned from Dunsmuir this morning, after having been at Starbuck's bedside yesterday.
    The injured pilot will be taken by train to San Francisco, where he will enter a hospital to receive the best medical attention possible, and is scheduled to leave tonight. According to present indications, he will be incapacitated for five or six weeks.
    The plane,in which Starbuck was wrecked is practically an 80-percent loss, according to Mr. Hall, who said that the motor can be salvaged.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 24, 1928, page 8

    Although Arthur Starbuck, well-known Pacific Air Transport aviator, who sustained such serious and painful injuries when his plane was wrecked in California last Sunday, has weeks ahead of him in a San Francisco hospital or at home, patiently waiting for those injuries to heal, the awful experience he recently went through has not dispelled his cheerful views of life and love of a practical joke.
    The phone rang at the air landing field station here yesterday and attendants hurriedly answered to find a man at the other end of the wire inquiring how much was the fare from Medford to South America by airplane. Finally after getting the attaches of the station all "up in the air," so to speak, in their endeavors to answer the questions of the inquirer seeking such a long-distance journey, as to fare, routes and connections, someone thought to ask the inquirer's name.
    "Mr. Starbuck, haw, haw, haw," was the reply.
    It seems the injured aviator was talking from a phone at his bedside.
    One of the P.A.T. aviators passing through here from San Francisco today, and who had called on Starbuck there yesterday, brings the information that Starbuck will be laid up five weeks yet before he can return to duty.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 27, 1928, page 5

    The Boeing Transport Company of Seattle, Wash., has purchased controlling stock in the Pacific Air Transport, but the latter will continue to retain its own identity and carry the mail from Seattle, via Medford, to Los Angeles.
    The change of ownership took the form of a reorganization of the old company under the same name with P. G. Johnson, vice president of the Boeing Transport Company, president of the Pacific Air Transport Company, and Vern C. Gorst, formerly president, is vice president under the new management, with A. K. Humphries of San Francisco as vice president and general manager; C. L. Egtegdt [sic], designing engineer of the Boeing Airplane Company, Seattle, treasurer; W. C. Bradshaw of Portland, secretary; W. C. Mohler, San Francisco, assistant treasurer; C. E. Brink, general auditor for the Boeing interests, auditor. The new board of directors consists of W. E. Boeing, Julius Meier, J. C. Ainsworth, Gorst, Johnson, Bradshaw and Egtbedt [sic].
    The passenger service will be greatly improved on [that of] P.A.T., and the large cabin planes of the Boeing make will be put into service soon. These planes are to be of the type now used by the Boeing company on their San Francisco-Chicago route and are of four-passenger capacity, driven by Pratt-Whitney Wasp single motors, and are built at a cost of about $25,000 each.
    The Pacific Air Transport Company has been in operation on the Pacific Coast air mail route since it was established in September, 1926, and is operated daily except Monday and has given excellent service under the supervision of Mr. Gorst.
    In acquiring the P.A.T. line the Boeing interests now have control of what is probably the longest air mail line in the world, when that of the Pacific Coast and the San Francisco-Chicago line are linked up. The across-the-continent route is listed as 1943 miles and the Pacific Coast route as 1099 miles.
    Seely Hall, the popular manager of the local field, and the other employees here will remain with the company.
    G. L. Strehlke, of the traffic department of P.A.T., was in Medford today in the interests of securing more business, particularly air mail. He spoke at the Kiwanis Club at noon.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1928, page 6

    Members of the Medford Rotary Club have no doubt all become "air-minded" after hearing the splendid address on the subject of "The Air Mail and Commercial Aviation" by Seely Hall, state chairman of the American Legion board of aeronautics. Mr. Hall, who is also a director of the P.A.T. Company, covered his subject in a comprehensive manner, reviewing briefly the early history of the air mail on the Pacific Coast. Since the air mail contract was secured by Vern Gorst about a year and a half ago it has been necessary to make many necessary improvements to take care of the increased business. The first planes used by the P.A.T. Company were the Ryan monoplane, which is a similar airship to that which Lindbergh used on his famous transatlantic flight. These planes, however, soon became inadequate and it was necessary to replace them with the new Travelair biplanes which provided more power and better opportunity for maneuvering in the air. It has now been found necessary to place orders for a fleet of the new Boeing planes similar to those now in use on the transcontinental air service. These planes will be of the latest cabin type and will carry four passengers and 600 pounds of mail, and it is expected to have them ready for service on this line by April 1. Mr. Hall spoke of the splendid type of plane being put out by the Boeing factory, which is located in Seattle, and is the largest aircraft manufacturing plant in the entire United States. What is being done to improve air transportation along the coast was mentioned by the speaker, who told of the government plan to establish intermediate landing fields for emergency use every 30 miles. These new fields will be established only where there is no municipal field and will be used for emergency landings rather than for commercial use. Several of these fields are now in course of construction in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Each of these fields will be equipped eventually with a 7,500,000-candlepower beacon, which will prove a boon to night flying. They also will be equipped with the new radio beacons which will permit flying in any kind of weather, fog being no longer considered a serious handicap. With the use of these beacons it will be possible for a pilot to fly directly to his destination and land upon any given field without seeing land, it being entirely possible to maintain his direction by the use of instruments. In speaking of the Medford airport, which was the first air field in the state of Oregon, Mr. Hall stated that the present facilities will no doubt prove inadequate within the next two or three years. It has already been found necessary to greatly enlarge the field in order to provide sufficient landing and takeoff facilities for the large cabin planes which are now being used by the West Coast Air Transport Company. Several large hangars have already been installed at the field, and enough applications for additional hangars have been received to utilize practically all of the present available space.
    "It will be only a short time," stated the speaker, "until such applications will have to be turned down, due to lack of room." The remarkable progress which is being made in passenger service was brought out by the speaker, who predicted that where cabin ships are now carrying eight or ten passengers, within a year's time new and larger planes will carry twenty-five passengers on regular schedule through this territory. Mr. Hall, in closing, admonished his hearers to become "air-minded" and study the progress of aviation and to keep abreast of the times in order that Medford's air facilities might keep pace with the present trend of commercial aviation. To do this will require the securing of a new and larger airport within the near future, and it is hoped that every Medford citizen will lend his best efforts toward the accomplishment of this worthy purpose.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1928, page 6

    SAN FRANCISCO, March 28.--(AP)--The southbound Medford-San Francisco airplane yesterday was wrecked in the Berkeley hills, and the pilot was forced to jump 1700 feet with a parachute to save his life. The plane, in charge of pilot James Rutledge, ran out of gasoline after fighting headwinds southward for six hours. The mail was found undamaged.
    The plane, a Fokker cabin monoplane, which left Portland at 7 a.m. yesterday, was flown to Medford by H. C. Miller and turned over to Rutledge for the trip to San Francisco.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 28, 1928, page 8

Fog Near Canyonville Last Evening Forced Return to Roseburg--Play Hide and Seek with Storms--Chaplin Picture Shown Today.
    ROSEBURG, Ore., April 13.--(AP)--George Hunt, Medford theater man, a passenger in a plane piloted by Jack Evans, of Medford, was forced down here last night because of poor visibility between Canyonville and Medford. The plane arrived shortly before dusk, and as there was a low fog lying in the canyon south of Canyonville, the plane was unable to continue the trip.
    The ship was carrying films for Mr. Hunt's theater at Medford, delivery by train having been delayed so that a special trip by air was being made in an effort to get the films to the theater for a showing last night. The plane left here this morning to finish the trip.
    The plane arrived here at 10 o'clock this forenoon, and, according to Evans, would have arrived here last night in time for the first show at the Craterian Theater if a storm had not been encountered near Canyonville, making night flying extremely hazardous.
    The ship left Portland yesterday afternoon after 4 o'clock and had proceeded as far as Canyonville when Evans decided to turn back to Roseburg, as in the darkness it is hard to determine whether clouds are clouds or mountains.
    The journey to Portland was rough, and the plane was forced to dodge a number of storms by roundabout flying methods.
    The films, which are of "The Circus," featuring Charles Chaplin, will be shown on schedule today.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1928, page 1

    The first extension of the American Railway transcontinental air express route since its initial establishment last September will go into effect tomorrow through a contract with P.A.T., making Medford one of the principal stops in the new northwestern division, which will cover the territory from San Francisco to Seattle. Portland, Tacoma and Seattle are the three only other stops in the northwestern extension.
    Although established for the first time only a little over seven months ago, the American Air Express service has found its place both in the development of aviation and in the schedules of large industries where expedience is the principal consideration toward efficiency.
    The American Air Express contract is now in effect on the Boeing Air Transport from San Francisco and Oakland to Chicago; the Western Air Express from Los Angeles to Salt Lake, Embry, Riddle, Chicago, Indianapolis; Northwest Air Ways, from Chicago to Minneapolis; National Air Transport, covering the territory between Chicago and Dallas, and Chicago and New York; the Colonial Air Transport from New York to Boston and P.A.T. from Los Angeles to Seattle.
    The first coastwide run taking in the Northwest, through Medford to Seattle, will begin at midnight tonight, the plane leaving Los Angeles and arriving in Medford at nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1928, page 3

    Two Boeing cabin planes, which will be put on the regular run between San Francisco and Seattle of the Pacific Air Transport Company, landed at the local airport this forenoon en route to San Francisco on a test run. The two planes along with two others will be put into active operation by the company the first of June, according to present plans.
    The planes have a capacity of four passengers and 600 pounds of mail and are powered by a 420-horsepower motor, making the ships much faster than the present smaller ones in use.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1928, page 8

    Dr. J. J. Emmens, attorney Geo. M. Roberts and Ralph Bardwell arrived in Medford this noon in the big cabin plane from San Francisco, making the journey in four hours, with an hour's stop at Redding.
    There were four passengers in the plane in addition to the Medford trio, and all were enthusiastic over the journey except one passenger, who became seasick over the Siskiyous.
    The start was made from the San Francisco field, several miles down the peninsula, about eight o'clock this morning, the total flying time to Medford being only a little over three hours.
    The local passengers declared the plane very comfortable, with easy chairs, toilet facilities and no restrictions against smoking. The three prominent Medfordites spent five days in the Bay City metropolis on very important business and professional matters.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 24, 1928, page 3

The Sky Trail of Oregon
    Motoring over the Pacific Highway through Northern California and Oregon, and delighted with the beauty of that route, I am thrilled through and through with the amazing wonder of the shortcut back by the skyways, and ready to commend a vacation in the air to all who will listen, especially if taken with mail pilots.
    With some excitement, I tucked away in my purse a small ticket which declared my right to a place as passenger aboard the mail plane leaving Portland at seven the following morning for San Francisco and Oakland. The thrill of the adventure had begun.
    Having called the office of the Pacific Air Transport company in Portland, to ascertain weather conditions in prospect, the kind of plane, the name of the pilot, I was asked to "wait a moment." In a brief minute came the answer, clear and concise: "Good weather all of the way through is predicted; a Travel Air to Medford; Mr. [J. Russell] Cunningham is the pilot. A change of plane and pilot will be made at Medford." If I wished, the person would be pleased to remain at the office in order to give me my ticket. I promised to be right down--swallowing a little!
    A great remedy for last-moment timidity is to pay your fare and possess your ticket. The purchase of an air voyage ticket is accompanied by bright enthusiasm and hearty good wishes for a wonderful trip--and is not just a matter of a rubber stamp or so, with a blasé pocketing of your money. It is a simple method for everyday folks to indulge themselves in the emotions of Columbus.
    So, at six the next morning, through the streets and over the bridges of Portland, with starlight lasting into dawn, we motored to the airport at Vancouver, Wash. "Hello!" I said to the occupied young man in the office at the hangar. "I'm your passenger this morning!" "All right-o--I'll be with you in a jiffy." He brought out a very long, bifurcated garment, with familiar Lindbergh collar, and placed its long length on the floor.
    I stepped into the middle of it, knickers, coat, sweater, everything--enveloped by the capacious garment, which was made snug at ankles and wrists and zippered to the chin. A soft wool helmet was adjusted to a snug fit. Monstrous goggles were mounted on my forehead, ready to be slipped into place when needed. This, we felt, was going to be a genuine flight!
    The Travel Air was wheeled out and the motor tuned up. The pilot took his place, and I climbed into the small open cockpit in front of him and directly back of the engine--with all its busy little things going smartly up and down. I hoped they would keep on going smartly up and down, with nary a stop, for on that ability of theirs depended our staying in the sky and traveling on our way.
    Mail sacks were jammed in beside me, my Gladstone lay across my legs, my hat took rough chances in the crevices. I was securely strapped in, and then a folded parachute was placed on top of the mail at my side with the remark, "You will have to put that on at Medford for the flight over the Siskiyous!"
    My first trip by air a few months ago had been taken in a Boeing transcontinental plane, a brief half hour from Concord, Calif. to Sacramento, sitting comfortably in a cozy cabin, with no more breeze than we wished, and wearing street clothes suited to a warm day in Sacramento. This open cockpit experience, bundled up and strapped in, was going to be something very different of a primitive pioneer sort, but an experience which I had hoped to have before all passenger flights should become deluxe and commonplace.
    The blocks were pulled away from before the wheels and the motor whirred madly. With a wave to friends, off we rushed along the runway, and rising easily in a short space we mounted into the sky, becoming that speck in the sunny distance we ourselves so often watched from the stolid ground. The sun rose at the same time, and we were joyous at the thought of taking "the wings of the morning" and flying to "the uttermost parts" of the earth.
    The day was clear to the wide horizons. Mt. Hood gleamed in fullest grandeur, and all of the other snowy peaks rose in magnificent outline on this rim of our huge horizon. The Oregon landscape swept below us, in swiftly changing, happy variety of forest and stream and rolling hills.
    Fog lay in little valleys far beneath, and treetops reaching above threw long penciled shadows on soft white slopes as the sun slanted through in the early morning. A fairy scene! There was too much to see at once--I tried to take a nap, just to rest from thronging impressions and to keep perceptions keen.
    From seven until about nine-thirty we sped along the skyways over Oregon, reveling in the most gorgeous adventure of a lifetime rather filled with varied adventures, from pioneering in the woods of Washington to gypsy-jaunting through the Balkans close on the heels of the Great War, and sightseeing just offstage from the battlefront of the Greeks and Turks in Asia Minor.
    No longer had we "roots to our feet"! No longer did Old Earth claim us in the grip of gravitation (provided the motor kept going)!  We sensed the mightier forces of the universe, the perfect law of stabililty, the tremendous movement of the spheres through space, and man's right to his place in the sun and among the stars!
    Watching for Medford--there it was just around the corner of some hills--down we swooped upon the racetrack, now being made into a landing field. Banking sharply, straightening out, dropping softly down upon the ground, there was a playful bounce, or two, a hop, and a skip, and our Travel Air rolled sedately to a stop in front of the hangar. Friends awaited us, and they had their thrill in watching us approach from one far horizon and later vanish over another.
    Mr. [James L.] Rutledge for pilot, a tiny plane, but the same passenger and the same mail sacks. The parachute was fastened to my back, the straps made secure by three pair of willing hands, and I was instructed how to pull the ring if needs must. A box lunch was handed to me, and I was shoehorned into the little cockpit, close to the busy Wright Whirlwind motor with its funny little things going smartly up and down just before my eyes.
    I was not strapped in this time, but there was small chance of falling out of those close quarters with that sky-hiking pack on my back, even though we should do capers in the sky. With another mad whir of the motor, off we shot once more, and with a wave of the hand to our friends and the dog climbed high, heading straight for the snowy Siskiyous and glorious old Shasta.
    The flight past this grand old mountain was one of superb grandeur--deeply covered with snow as it was far down its slopes. We flew close, and marveled every minute. Nine thousand feet high we spun along at 120 miles an hour! The Siskiyous extended as far as one could see in snowy ridges. The railroad twisted its crooked, laborious way far below. The auto highway was clearly defined in its white curving and sharp turning through the mountains.
    After days of driving over those twisting and sometimes frosty curves, the straight path through the sky seemed in contrast a blessed relief, and sane and beautiful as a mode of travel, and so swift!
    Farther south the blossomy orchards rested like soft, fluffy powder puffs upon the earth. We were tossed about somewhat, and took long glides downward at times, when I found myself reaching for the parachute ring just to be sure I had its location memorized! But we did no loops nor somersaults, and the marvel was that the plane under the clever guidance of the pilot held so stable and even on her keel amidst all of the buffeting. The waves of the ocean looked like blue rolling hills, and the hills seemed undulating waves of the sea--an impressive sight.
    We ate our lunch sky-high. The sandwich released from its wrapping began to dry up with the first bite. Our lips fluttered and cheeks shook, the rush of wind was so great, and eating was a funny business. We tossed the apple core overboard. It is against the rules to throw anything overboard from a cabin plane, but there were no signs about--they would have blown away themselves--and I had to toss something overboard, so it was the apple core.
    My scarf whipped off in a jiffy--the quickest disappearance of anything that could be imagined. I had held it across my mouth for comfort in breathing when over the snowy ranges, and later above California it was loosely knotted about my neck. Off it went, and the only sense I had of its going was that it was gone. I turned in an endeavor to see it sailing through the blue--and my pilot handed it back to me! He had reached out swiftly and snatched a corner as it whipped past him. He was quick, that pilot chap.
    A few trips later he landed safely by parachute, the motor having stopped for lack of gas after a battle with the glaze, and like a flash he was over the side and on his way to earth. With a passenger along the pilot does not jump until he has pried his fellow traveler loose and seen him on his way--it is the air code.
    When we drew nearer Mt. Diablo I hoped we might fly above my home, as the planes to and from the East do, but we swung off at Carquinez Bridge and headed toward the Golden Gate for San Francisco. It was with a little feeling of excitement when I saw we were really going out over the bay and I found myself hoping that there was gasoline enough to finish our trip nicely.
    We flew directly over Alcatraz Island and I looked at the prison buildings and grounds. Poor fellows, they have "roots to their feet" certainly, and all their wings are clipped! Soldiers ran to get the mail when we dropped down upon Crissy Field. Ten minutes longer for me, they said.
    Another expert takeoff, flying straight into the Golden Gate. Then, swinging about, we sailed along over the ferryboats and other bay craft, past Goat Island, evading some fog banks, and finally found ourselves landing in style at the splendid Oakland Airport. Tired a little, stiff from the cramped quarters, having flown from seven in the morning until one o'clock in the afternoon--five hours and forty-five minutes actual flying time my certificate reads--I was loosed from my burden of the parachute and helped out of the cockpit, ears ringing from the motor noise, and wobbly on my feet, but thrilled to the marrow with the gorgeous adventure in the air!
    I would [not] have missed it for the world, and am happy to have done it pioneer fashion while flying is still so wonderful and eventful an experience for almost anyone. My warmest tribute to the air mail pilots; they are fine, skilled and remarkable men, all of them!--Christian Science Monitor.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 24, 1928, page 12

Feared Passenger on Air Mail Plane Lost Life When Ship Burned After Being Forced Down--Hope Not Abandoned--Grant Donaldson, Pilot, Badly Burned, but Expected to Recover.
    ROSEBURG, Ore., Oct. 2.--(Special to the Mail Tribune).--Pilot Grant Donaldson was seriously injured and D. P. Donovan of Los Angeles, it is feared, was killed when the regular mail plane from Medford crashed on the Pacific Highway right of way near here this morning and was consumed by flames.
    Late this afternoon Donaldson, suffering severely from shock and burns, told L. G. Hubble, division superintendent of the Pacific Air Transport, and Dr. E. H. Padden, flight surgeon, that he was flying north through the canyon, which was clear at the south end when he entered. The fog grew thicker as he continued, and he sought the Pacific Highway. On making a turn he went into a thick bank of fog and does not remember anything further.
    Because of Donaldson's serious condition the doctors refused to let anyone question him regarding the fate of his passenger, but a majority of the air mail officials here, directing searching parties, fear the worst and believe that the Los Angeles official either died when the plane crashed or succumbed later to his injuries.
    Although the wreck must be very near the Pacific Highway at the old bridge, the brush is very thick there and the fog so dense that officials say it is not surprising that the ashes of the machine cannot be found. They declare searchers might have to step directly on the plane before locating it.
    After a careful examination hospital physicians said pilot Donaldson suffered no fatal injuries and should recover unless unlooked-for complications set in. It is planned to take him by plane to Portland before dark and put him in the hands of specialists in that city.
    ROSEBURG, Ore., Oct. 2.--(AP)--A mail plane of the Pacific Air Transport was wrecked on Canyon Mountain, nine miles south of Canyonville, today. The pilot, Grant Donaldson, made his way, though injured, to the Pacific Highway, where he was picked up and brought to Canyonville. After telling of the accident there he lapsed into unconsciousness.
    Donaldson said a passenger was with him in the plane, but did not say what had become of him. A search party was immediately sent out from Canyonville to locate the passenger. An ambulance was sent from Roseburg to bring Donaldson to a hospital here.
    Donaldson was on a northbound trip, en route from Medford to Portland. The passenger was en route from San Francisco.
    Donaldson took the mail plane south from Portland to Medford this morning, and was on his way back when the accident occurred.
Minister Rescues Pilot
    Pilot Donaldson was picked up by Rev. H. C. Messerli, Lutheran pastor at Albany, Ore., who was driving along the Pacific Highway. Reverend Messerli heard the crash as he was crossing the Pioneer Bridge, near Canyonville, and at the end of the bridge Donaldson came out of the brush. He was bleeding from injuries and had burns on the head, hands and feet. Reverend Messerli said Donaldson muttered that the fog had forced him down.
    Searchers were out this afternoon scouring the hills south of Canyonville for trace of the wreckage of the mail plane and a passenger.
    Heavy fog hung over the district, making the search difficult.
Flies to Disaster.
    PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 2.--(AP)--L. G. Hubble, division superintendent of the Pacific Air Transport, set out by airplane from Vancouver, Wash., for Roseburg immediately after being notified of the accident near Canyonville. He planned to see Donaldson and to take charge of the search for the passenger.
    OAKLAND, Cal., Oct. 2.--(AP)--The Pacific Air Transport plane that was wrecked nine miles south of Canyonville, Ore., today was a regular mail plane which left the Oakland airport at 5 a.m. for Seattle. The passenger in the plane was D. P. Donovan of Los Angeles. Officials of the company here and in San Francisco had not at noon learned whether Donovan was injured and did not know the extent of the injuries sustained by pilot Grant H. Donaldson.
    When the first report of the accident reached Medford Seely Hall and William Rosenbalm of the Medford airport left at once for Roseburg by automobile, the rain and low ceiling making a plane trip inadvisable. The mail plane left Medford for the north at 9:10 this morning, after discharging mail here.
    The first authentic report received at the local field from Roseburg was to the effect that pilot Donaldson had regained consciousness at the hospital and was able to talk some, so it was concluded that his condition could not be critical. It was believed at that time that his injuries were largely shock and perhaps burns, one report being that the plane had caught fire when it crashed.
    Five hours after the accident, no definite information regarding the fate of D. P. Donovan had been received, but it was feared his injuries had been serious, or by this time he would have been able to make his whereabouts known.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1928, page 1

    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26.--(AP)--Heavy air mail traffic anticipated for the Christmas season between Seattle and Los Angeles has necessitated the addition of two new planes to the Pacific Air Transport fleet, said an announcement today. The company has ordered two Boeing 40C-type mail passenger and express planes.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 26, 1928, page 1

    Two new Boeing "40C" mail, express and passenger planes are under construction at the factory of the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle, to go on the Seattle-Medford-Los Angeles route of the Pacific Air Transport, says A. K. Humphries, vice president and general manager.
    The new planes will be delivered about December 1, to handle increase in volume of traffic due to Christmas mailing. It is expected that the holiday poundage will double last year's due to the fifty-percent reduction in package rates effective last August 1.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 18, 1928, page 8

    The first of the so-called "green-colored" planes to be used in the transcontinental air mail service from San Francisco east were recently put into use on the San Francisco-Medford-Portland-Seattle route by the Pacific Air Transport, and ultimately all planes used in the coast mail service will be similarly colored.
    Heretofore the air mail planes have been all silver in color. The new scheme is a green fuselage, with silver for all wings except the top of the top wings, which is orange in color. The orange makes the plane visible from above when it is at rest on a green field, and the green has been found not to show oil soiling so badly as the old silver color.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1928, page 3

    The dense cold of today, which began to somewhat dissipate shortly after noon, came up during the night in a light form, which gradually increased until it had grown to be the most dense of the season. Coldness accompanied the fog, which at 5 a.m. had a minimum temperature of 27 degrees.
    Fortunately the northbound air mail plane from San Francisco reached Medford on time at 9 a.m. and had proceeded on north before the fog became so dense, but the southbound plane from Portland, arriving late, about 9:30 a.m. found the fog so dense as to be unable to land here and went on and alighted at the emergency landing field on the Barron ranch near Ashland. Fair weather with slowly rising temperature is forecast for tonight and Wednesday.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 4, 1928, page 3

    Because of the dense fog in the valley the air mail planes today again landed at the Barron ranch emergency landing field eight or ten miles south of Ashland, due to inability to land at the Medford airport. The northbound plane from San Francisco was a little late, but the southbound plane from Portland arrived practically on schedule time, 9 a.m. The pilots of the planes report that they had little difficulty in flying through the valley beyond that of locating the local airport.
    The method of getting the air mail to the Medford post office when the planes land at the Barron emergency field is that it is quickly loaded onto the Pacific Air Transport motor truck and hurried to the Medford airport, where it is turned over to the air mail messenger of the local post office, who rushes it to the post office.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 6, 1928, page 3

Medford's Importance as Air Mail Center Growing--Pilots Improve Delivery Records--Heaviest Air Mail During the Fruit Season.
    Air mail poundage from the Medford post office during 1928 totaled 5139 pounds, approximately one-tenth of the poundage handled by the Pacific Air Transport planes between Los Angeles and Seattle, based upon the figures of the previous year. This is a highly creditable showing.
    The peak of the air mail was reached locally in the fruit months--August and September--when 1146 pounds of air mail was consigned. The air mail service, less costly than the telegraph and faster than the regular mail--was extensively used by the shippers in the transaction of business between this city and the eastern centers. Outgoing air mail for August totaled 561 pounds, and for September 585 pounds.
    The outgoing air mail poundage from the local post office, for the year, by months, was as follows:
Months Poundage
January 363
February 414
March 451
April 337
May 423
June 337
July 363
August 561
September 585
October 475
November 355
December (1927)    455  
TOTAL     5,139  
    According to local postal authorities, the efficiency and regularity of the air mail has increased in the last year. Up to December 15, the air mail planes arrived daily on scheduled time, except on three days. In 1927 it was not unusual for the mail planes to miss three and four days at a time. The weather condition this year has been practically the same as last--unfavorable conditions over the Siskiyous. This year the pilots, thoroughly familiar with the topography, forged through to land the air mail on time.
    During 1928, Medford retained her position as "Air Queen of Oregon," with a fixed civic determination to hold the honors won by being the first city of the state, Portland excepted, to recognize that aviation is the great medium of transportation of the future and that meeting the needs of the new order will yield rich harvests in years to come.
    Last year the local airport was a point on the National Air Tour, and was visited unexpectedly by the national hero, Col. Charles A. Lindbergh. It was also the daily terminal of the Pacific Air Transport Company and the West Coast planes, and the stopping place of many other planes on coast and transcontinental tours. Medford is recognized in aviation circles as an "air-minded city," midway between San Francisco and Portland.
    An election is now pending for a bond issue of $220,000 for the building of a new airport. The site has been tentatively selected, and final decision awaits the high court's ruling on the validity of airport bonds, voted by the city of Roseburg.
Flying School Established
    The Harold Sanders School of Flying is operated from the local airport, and has enrolled from 10 to 15 residents of the Rogue River Valley as student fliers. Three have purchased a privately owned plane which will be delivered in the spring and used in pleasure and business flying.
    Next June, according to the present plans, beacons will be installed, and the Rogue River Valley area, equipped for night flying.
    Conditions are practically ideal in Southern Oregon for flying with no extremes of weather, and violent outbreaks of nature rare. During the foggy season, which lasts but a short period, mail planes land on the emergency field at the Barron ranch near Ashland. It is seldom that the emergency field is used. During the past year, no serious accidents have marred local aviation.
    Statistics of the local airport show that last year an average of a passenger a day was carried by the mail planes, and that an average of 17 pounds of mail was carried daily, north and south, by the mail planes operating out of this city. There has been a minimum of delays, and none from mechanical defects. The mail plane service is operated by the Pacific Air Transport Company, which was taken over by the Boeing company January 1, 1928. New Boeing planes were placed in operation May 24, 1928.
    Traffic increased steadily, and December1, two new Boeing planes were placed in commission to handle the Christmas mail. They are passenger planes, and later will likely be placed in that service. On December 3 a seven-day-a-week mail service was installed. Before, the mail planes did not operate on Mondays.
    Up to November 1, according to official figures, the Pacific Air Transport planes had flown 575,615 miles, and carried 1392 passengers. Mail tonnage totaled 102,144 pounds. On May 15 last a contract with the American Express Company was signed and about 2500 pounds of express carried by the planes.
    A rapid increase in air mail was noticeable after August 15 last, when a five-cent postage rate was put in effect. The rate calls for 10 cents per ounce after the first ounce, but very few missives exceed this limit.
    The records of the company also show that the northbound air mail exceeds the southbound volume by approximately one-third.
    The Pacific Air Transport Company began operations September 15, 1926. It was organized by Vern C. Gorst of Marshfield, Ore. as president, and A. K. Humphries of San Francisco as vice president. Seely V. Hall is local representative.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1928, page C3

    The play is not the thing for pilot Harry Crandall, aeronautical performer in "Hell's Angels," and he has quit to fly the air mail "straight and level," as wartime instructors used to put it.
    Crandall has joined the pilot staff of Pacific Air Transport, Seattle-Los Angeles air mail route, and will fly the Medford-Oakland division with Arthur Starbuck and Ralph Virden.
    The newly appointed air postman began flying at Rogers Field Los Angeles, and went barnstorming in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California. He then engaged to fly for various motion picture companies, and took part in "Lilac Time," "Cohens and Kelleys in Paris," "Hazardous Valleys," "Around the World," "Air Circus" and "Hell's Angels."
    Crandall played football with Frank Luke, second American World War ace, when they were in school together at Phoenix, Arizona. He was never known to stunt a plane except in front of the camera, friends say. His total time in the air is about 1800 hours, and he has had but one spill. That was when he was flying a plane from which an assistant was pouring flour to make "smoke" for a movie. The assistant dropped a sack of flour on the rudder bar which jammed it. The ship spun down 800 feet, but neither of the men was hurt.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 6, 1929, page 8

    After a career in the movies where he doubled for some of the leading stars and thrilled movie audiences with his breathtaking airplane stunts, Harry Crandall, 30 and single, admits that he received his first real thrill when he started his present job with P.A.T. over the air mail route from Oakland to Medford.
    "There is more of a thrill for me in straight flying, because it in itself has such a thrilling future--an unlimited, unbounded chance for development and improvement! Just to be part of it, and to have a chance to contribute something to its future, is a career worth working and studying for," he said.
    Mr. Crandall, who has handled every type of plane in his stunt flying and has been "shot" in every imaginable thrilling situation in the air, claims that he has never done any trick flying except before the camera. Also that he won't cut any aerial capers on his mail route, no matter how much it may be expected of him.
    Born in Alba, Missouri, Harry Crandall went to work for the Harley Davidson Motor company when he was still in his early 'teens and entered the motorcycle racing game. He, with a group of other racers, made a circuit of the United States, entering the meets in different localities.
    Following the war, he went into the motor business in Phoenix, Arizona, and in 1923 he was brought out to Hollywood as a double for Charles Ray in two movies. And the aviator could double for that movie star right now without makeup. In the Charles Ray pictures a number of motorcycle racing thrills were required.
    From then on, Crandall was used steadily in motorcycle, automobile and airplane thrillers made by the various companies in Hollywood. Finally he specialized in airplanes alone, and for two years his services were passed around from studio to studio.
    His stunt flying will be remembered in "The Cohens and Kellys in Paris" done by Universal; "Lilac Time" by First National; "The Legion of the Condemned," by Paramount, where Crandall doubled for Gary Cooper; "Now We're in the Air," the Wallace Beery and Raymond Hatton feature; "The Air Circus," by Fox, and a number of other well-known pictures. "Hell's Angels," a picture done by the Caddo Production company, to be released in April, is one which Crandall worked in just prior to entering the P.A.T. service, and which he claims is the greatest airplane picture of them all.
    "There were six of us who began making scenes together in the movies. They called us 'the clique' because we insisted on working together in every movie. The reason for that was that we had confidence in each other and could work out our situations in the air and knew what to expect from each other,' he explained.
    "The director, before beginning one of these pictures, would call us in and tell us the story sequences, and what he wanted in the way of stunts. Then we went out and rehearsed tricks as near what he had described to us as we could get them. Often we doped out scenes that surpassed the director's hopes of accomplishment. And we did most of our thinking in the air, too."
Medford Mail Tribune, February 8, 1929, page 7

    C. E. Johnson, operations manager for Pacific Air Transport, under Boeing Transport, Inc., was in Medford Wednesday en route by plane to Oakland.
    He was not surprised because the people of this city had voted for the airport bonds, as he recognized their progressive spirit, but he was surprised at the 12-to-1 majority. He was loud in his praises of the same and said he would like to take a bunch of the fellows from here to Seattle, where they are considering a like proposition, to tell them how "to put it over."
    Mr. Johnson authorized Seely Hall to immediately secure a lease for the Boeing company on the airport, and they would soon proceed with the erection of their own administration building, mechanical shop and hangar.
    On his arrival in Oakland last evening, Mr. Johnson wired as follows to the publicity committee:
Oakland, Calif. April 3.
    Congratulations to the citizens of Medford on voting the airport bond issue, thus maintaining their present position as a key city on the Pacific Coast airway. Aeronautical development of the future will bring increased benefit to Medford through its airport.
    Operations Manager, P.T.A.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 4, 1929, page 5

Concerns Which Cover North and Central America Will Exchange Traffic
    Two of the greatest aeronautical corporations of the country, controlling thousands of miles of airways in North and Central America, today had agreed to cooperate and exchange traffic on lines which ultimately will extend from Seattle to South America and possibly from Alaska to Buenos Aires.
    The corporations are the Aviation Corporation of the Americas, which owns Pan-American Airways, and the United Aircraft and Air Transport Corporation, which controls Boeing Air Transport and Pacific Air Transport.
    The agreement was revealed in the announcement of Richard F. Hoyt, chairman of Aviation Corporation, that United Aircraft and Air Transport Corporation had purchased 50,000 shares of the capital stock of the Aviation Corporation, representing a value of approximately $3,000,000.
    The deal also involves an agreement whereby United Air Transport takes over the Boeing Company options on the Compania de Transportes Aereos Latino Americano, which holds the Mexican air mail contract from Tijuana via Mexicali, Nogales and Mexico City to Tapachula.
    This line when placed in operation probably will be extended southward to Guatemala City, and will include an air transport shuttle via Vera Cruz and Merida, Yucatan to Belize, connecting there with the Pan-American Airways line now operating between Miami and Cristobal, it was said.
    Practically, the agreement between the two corporations amounts to this: Aviation Corporation agrees to operate south of the Mexican border and through its present international air lines, while United Aircraft, through its subsidiaries Boeing and Pacific Air Transport, will confine its operations to regions north of the border. At present Pacific Air Transport flies mail and passengers between Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles. Boeing carries the transcontinental mail between Oakland and Chicago.
    A survey has been completed by the Boeing Company of an airway between Seattle and Juneau, Alaska, with a view of connecting the territory with the network of air lines in the United States and to the south.
    As a result of the agreement it is expected that a new American corporation will be formed as a unit in Aviation Corporation of the Americas to control the proposed Mexican air line. Pacific Air Transport probably will extend its present line from Los Angeles to Tijuana, thus linking the cities of the Pacific Coast, and through Boeing the cities west of the Mississippi from Chicago to Oakland with the Mexican system.
Oakland Tribune, April 18, 1929, page 39

    PORTLAND, Ore., April 39.--(AP)--Pacific Air Transport, coast subsidiary of the Boeing system, today celebrated the completion of 5,000,000 miles of flying. John M. Jones, postmaster, assisted in the celebration by personally transferring the San Francisco mail, brought in by pilot Grover Tyler, to the Seattle plane, piloted by Russ Cunningham.
    Mayor Baker, other city officials, and a throng of spectators were on the air field for the event.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 29, 1929, page 1

Hall Announces Plan for Administration Structure--To House Office, Waiting Rooms and Depot Facilities.
    As soon as the Medford airport is made ready for building, the Pacific Air Transport will start construction of a $5000 administration building, according to an announcement made today by Seely V. Hall, superintendent of the Medford division of the air line.
    The new building will consist of division offices, waiting rooms and depot space, and will conform architecturally with the administration building to be erected by the city.
    The Pacific Air Transport will lease their hangars from the city for the present but will eventually build their own.
    Mr. Hall returned yesterday afternoon from California, where he conferred with P.A.T. officials on local building operations.
    Hall visited thirty airports in the vicinity of Los Angeles, getting points on the latest construction and flying methods. He left here last Friday and after a day in San Francisco and Oakland flew to Los Angeles. He left Bakersfield, Calif., Monday night and flew over the lighted night route, stopping at Fresno and Oakland fields and arriving here yesterday afternoon.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 30, 1929, page 1

Air Mail Two Years Old
To the Editor:
    June 30 the Boeing System, the air mail contractor serving Medford, will serve its second birthday with the completion of flying 5,750,000 miles, or 230 time around the world. This proof of the dependability of this form of transport of mail, express and passengers is an evidence of the growing importance of air transport to Medford. The planes have carried 1300 tons of mail, or more than 100,000,000 letters, thousands of express shipments and 6000 passengers on the transcontinental and Pacific Coast routes. The Boeing companies have flown for two years and five and three-quarter million miles with only three fatalities. They have made distant cities neighbors.
    The Boeing System is composed of Boeing Air Transport, Inc., and Pacific Air Transport, flying air mail, express and passenger routes between Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles and Seattle. These are the two longest air mail routes in the United States, while the Chicago-California route is the longest regularly operated airline in the world.
    The movement of air mail over these routes has called for daily flying from sea level to 12,000 feet, and ground temperatures have ranged from 35 degrees below zero to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Nearly three million miles of these five and three-quarter million miles was flown at night, much of it over the western mountains.
    Despite the length of the routes, the extremes of climate and altitude, and the larger percentage of night flying, air mail, express and passengers have been moved on schedules which are as fixed as those of railroads.
    We believe that the flying of five and three-quarter million miles in twenty-four months, with such a performance record, is proof of the dependability of air transport and an indication that the airplane is to assume an increasingly important status in our national scheme of transportation and communication.
    The Boeing System, on its birthday, wishes to express appreciation to the press, chambers of commerce, service clubs, and other organizations in the twenty-two states it serves in the United States, for their cooperation.
    Very truly yours,
    Vice President, Boeing Air Transport, Inc., Pacific Air Transport,
        Seattle, June 28.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 29, 1929, page 4

    The summer excursion rates going into effect July 1, and lasting 90 days, were announced by the Pacific Air Transport company at the local airport yesterday afternoon. From Medford to the various Pacific Coast points the prices were quoted as follows:
    From Medford to Seattle, $30; to Tacoma, $30; to Fresno, $45; to Bakersfield, $50, and to Los Angeles, $55. This rate includes meals as well as transportation to and from airports, according to C. E. Johnson, operations manager. A listing for all fields may be obtained at the local airport by those interested in such trips.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1929, page 3

Aero Digest Tells About Vern Gorst Former Resident, Aviation Pioneer.
    The last issue of the Aero Digest contained the following article concerning Vern C. Gorst, a former well-known resident of this city. It tells of his rise in the aviation world, and is as follows:
    I asked Vern C. Gorst for a few words about himself, and all he wrote about was his airline--and not a word about himself. So I simply chucked his letter in the wastebasket, along with one from a girl who said she'd be willing to love me like anything if I'd teach her to fly for nothing, since she wanted to be the first woman to cross the Pacific--and what a credit that would be to me, she said! Yes, wouldn't it!  Well, I never would have got that biography of Vern Gorst, only he happened to get married some years ago, and now has a very charming young daughter with the pleasing name of Myrtis, who is a co-ed at the University of Oregon. Myrtis saw my letter to Dad and sat right down and wrote his biography in a very dignified and scholarly manner which does credit to her expensive education. And I'd print it just as she wrote it, only it would be above the heads of you six roughnecks and much too good for you. Besides, I don't want you to read good literature or you'd get dissatisfied with the pidgin English I purvey each month--and then where would I get the money I put into the North German Lloyd common [stock] at 69, so I would have the exquisite agony of watching it flop gently to 57 as soon as I got aboard? (And it still hurts a little, doctor.)
    Vern C. Gorst is president of Seattle Flying Service, vice president of Pacific Air Transport, and president of Barnes and Gorst Airlines, which are operating the air mail line between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. And now he heads Gorst Air Transport, which will open a passenger route between Seattle and Juneau, Alaska, with a fleet of ten plane amphibians.
    And how did he get that way when he started for Alaska at the age of 18 with a capital of 25 cents? Well, he had been clever enough to learn, at the age of 12, that nobody gets far by working himself to death; and that while there may be a certain amount of dignity to labor, the returns (outside of a tired feeling) are slight, almost negligible. The way he made this valuable discovery was as follows: His father told him to row across Port Orchard Bay to deliver loads of poultry and other farm produce. Vern obediently started to row, row, row--and collected the usual crop of water blisters. If he hadn't been bright, he would have kept on rowing until he raised callouses on his hands and his pants. But, realizing that a labor-dodger is the only fellow who gets far in this world, he rigged up a sail and let the wind blow him across, while he sat there figuring out what other work he could avoid.
    He went to Alaska and did mining for a time, but it was too hard work, so he returned to the States and started a transportation business at Wonder, Nev. Since there was little at Wonder, Gorst transported water in five-gallon cans from a valley several miles away. That is to say, a flock of burros transported the water while Vern saw to it that they transported it.  He didn't carry a single gallon himself.
    Still, he had to do some walking, which tired him, so he returned to boating at Port Orchard and simply sat in the boat while an engine did the work. The engines worked so hard that Vern soon had seven boats, which he sold at a profit, investing the money in an auto stage line between Medford and Jacksonville, Ore., in 1911. That was the first auto stage line in Oregon. With Charles O. King, another man who evidently objected to walking or rowing. Gorst organized several stage lines--the Vallejo Bus Company, the Coast Auto Lines, and the Motor Coach Company.
    This was all right, but still too hard work--changing tires, collecting fares, etc. In 1913 Vern noticed what an easy time pilots seem to have of it--standing about fields, talking, and every now and then flying for a few minutes. (That's what it used to be in 1913, anyhow.) So Vern got him a Martin pusher biplane--one of those early peculiarities that had the propeller behind, thrashing away amid a flock of tail-booms. Vern sat boldly out in front of this collection and forged through the air. There was hardly any work to it at all, only a lot of worry. He liked it so well that he kept right on flying and resting until 1926, when he organized Pacific Air Transport and hired a lot of people who hadn't learned to sit still and do nothing. These good fellows flew madly up and down the coast between Los Angeles and Seattle, while Vern watched them interestedly. When Mr. Boeing bought out the line, Vern didn't even have to tire himself out watching it, though he still does, just for interest and dividends. He also watches Barnes and Gorst Airlines, Inc., plying busily between Seattle and Victoria, and does just enough flying to keep in practice. He finds it very restful to fly, and then come down and sit around and consider how nice it is that he really doesn't have to fly unless he wants to.
    As I said, I got all this from his daughter, Myrtis, who tells me that she is going to take flying instruction herself as soon as she can get permission from Mother.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 14, 1929, page B5

    Philip Sharp of Portland, head mechanic for the Pacific Air Transport service, who spent a few days in Medford on his vacation, left by plane yesterday for his home in the north. While here Mr. Sharp enjoyed several of the surrounding scenic attractions, went fishing in the Rogue and spent some time on the Rogue Valley golf course. He pronounced Medford the ideal vacation spot and expressed a desire to return here for another more extended visit in the near future.
    Eddie Van Syckle and Mr. Allen of Klamath Falls were two business callers in the valley, having landed at the local airport yesterday in their Eagle Rock plane at 1:30. They took off late in the afternoon.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 22, 1929, page 3

    The Pacific Air Transport, operating in union with the Boeing system, carrying mail, express and passenger routes between Los Angeles, Medford and Seattle, will celebrate its third anniversary tomorrow. Since inaugurating this service, the company has flown planes approximately two and one-half million miles in the past three years.
    Since the first of last December P.A.T. has operated as a unit of the Boeing system, which also carries passengers between San Francisco, Oakland and Chicago.
    On its present northbound schedule, P.A.T. leaves Los Angeles at 11:45 p.m., arrives in Medford at 7:45 in the morning and in Seattle at noon the next day, traveling but 12 hours elapsed time.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 13, 1929, page 6

    Following long preparation, offices and equipment of the Pacific Air Transport Company were being moved today from Barber Field to Medford's new municipal airport along Biddle Road north of the city.
    Several laborers and trucks were busy this afternoon making the change. Although the first official flight was made from the new field early this month, the coast airmail planes have been landing at the old field, due to the administration building not having been entirely completed.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1929, page 4

    With the flight completed yesterday between Oakland and Medford, Arthur Starbuck, veteran airmail pilot of Pacific Air Transport, joined the ranks of pilots with 7500 hours in the air.
    It was in 1914 that an army captain took young Starbuck for a ride. Then and there he vowed he would be a pilot. His first experience with the air mail was chugging over the valleys and mountains of the Pacific Coast in a plane having a 90-horsepower motor, contrasted with the 525-h.p. engine on the Boeing mail four-passenger plane he now flies.
    There were no lights for dusk-to-dawn efforts, so Starbuck and another early-day mail pilot drove up and down the valleys in a car of popular make, lighting an airway. Then they started flying with the mail over this two-man network
    Starbuck, who is a familiar figure at airports from Los Angeles to Seattle, has his regular run between Medford and San Francisco Bay.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 25, 1929, page B1

    Airmail and passengers on the Pacific Air Transport planes were flown at an average speed of 108 miles an hour between Los Angeles, Medford, Seattle and intermediate points during the past month, company officials announced today.
    This is substantially faster than any time in the history of Pacific Coast air mail service. Pilot J. Russell Cunningham set a record for pilots on the coast run with an average cruising speed of 120 miles with his Boeing mail four-passenger plane, which has a 525-h.p. Hornet engine, which is now standard installation on Pacific Air Transport ships.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1929, page 5

    Harry Crandall, veteran of the coast airways, believes the Boeing radiophone, providing communication between pilots and the ground, shortly to be installed in Medford and eight cities between Los Angeles and Seattle by Pacific Air Transport, will be a great benefit to commercial air transport operations.
    Crandall, who is familiar with the Boeing radio ship now in operation on the western division, gives this description of how it feels to talk to someone 150 miles away and several thousand feet "down."
    "Hello Harry!" It is the voice of Boeing superintendent in my ear phones. "We have 1100-foot ceiling over the airport. Visibility five miles, barometer slightly below normal, but steady, no change in 30 minutes. Where are you?"
    "Thirty miles out and making 115 miles per hour, ground speed. How's the weather half way between here and there?"
    "Same as here," he answers. "Fog begins at Summit and ceiling rises as mountains drop away. What is the altitude at the top of the cloud layer?"
   "Eighty-eight hundred," I tell him. "That gives 1500 feet thickness. Will arrive about 9:13. Where is the southbound?"
    "P.A.T. southbound 20 minutes away. You are still a little south of the course. Five degrees more to the left ought to bring you right over us, etc., etc."
    Pacific Air Transport has just announced it will establish radiophone stations, which will permit pilots to talk from an altitude of 2,000 feet to ground stations 150 to 200 miles distant, at Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Medford, Redding, Oakland, Fresno, Bakersfield and the new united airport at Burbank.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1929, page 6

    The inauguration of a midnight-to-noon passenger schedule between Los Angeles and Seattle over the coast mail-passenger airway by the Pacific Air Transport Company, a Boeing system unit, makes it possible for passengers to leave Los Angeles at midnight and reach Seattle the following day by noon. The new service makes no difference in the arrival or departure of ships from Medford, the plane arriving here on schedule at 7 a.m.
    This airway, 1100 miles long, is the second longest mail passenger line in the United States, the longest being the Chicago-San Francisco route of 2000 miles, also Boeing operated. Air mail has been flown over this route for three years, and passengers have been carried on all divisions except the northbound night flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now, due to improved lighting, passengers can leave Los Angeles at midnight on the Boeing system, reach San Francisco Bay at 3:30, Portland at 9:30 and have lunch in Seattle or Tacoma. This is one of the fastest airplane schedules in the United States. Now it is only one-half a business day from the orange groves of Southern California to the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Puget Sound country.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 8, 1930, page 6

    New olive drab uniforms have been furnished pilots of the Pacific Air Transport company, and Ralph Virden was the first to make his appearance in such apparel today when he arrived from San Francisco.
    Overseas caps are a part of the new uniform, which also displays stars for every thousand hours flown by its wearer for the Pacific Air Transport. Virden has three stars.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 16, 1930, page 3

Second Longest Airway in Land Important Tenant of Medford Airport, and Pioneer of Coast Air
    Pacific Air Transport, the most important tenant of the newly completed Medford airport, is ranked as the second longest mail-passenger airway in the United States, Seely V. Hall, local representative of the company, announced Saturday.
    The company operates planes on daily northbound and southbound schedules over the 1204-mile airway between Seattle, Medford and San Diego, carrying mail, passengers and express from one terminal to the other in twelve and three-quarters hours.
    Hall said that the route was started four years ago as an air mail line, and planes powered with 90-horsepower engines were used. The airway was undeveloped, and the first lights for night flying were installed by Grover Tyler and other pilots, who carried the beacons to the desired locations in Ford cars.
Airway Developed.
    In 1928 the company was taken over by the Boeing interests, which operate the Chicago-Oakland-San Francisco mail-passenger line. The airway has been completely lighted for night flying by the Department of Commerce, with powerful airway beacons installed at 10-mile intervals and lighted emergency landing fields established between the terminal airports.
    The newest improvement on the Pacific Air Transport route, according to Hall, is the installation of the two-way radio telephone communication system between the planes in flight and operators at eight ground stations located on the line. One of these powerful transmitting and receiving stations is established at the Medford airport.
    By means of the radiophone, the P.A.T. pilots are always in voice communication with the ground station operators, receiving weather reports furnished by the U.S. Weather Bureau, and also traffic information of value to the operations. The radiophone has a radius of 200 miles and is effective at altitudes as high as 14,000 feet.
Traffic Increases.
    During the first six months of 1930, a total of five million letters was carried over the Seattle-Medford-San Diego route by the Boeing four-passenger mail planes of the company, Hall reported. The passenger traffic has increased substantially during the past few months.
    The company is now operating four-passenger mail planes produced at the Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle, an allied organization. These ships are powered with 525-h.p. Hornet engines, making possible a cruising speed of 108 miles per hour during the entire trip from Southern California through Oregon to Northern Washington. The top speed of the planes is 132 miles per hour.
    On the northbound schedule, planes leaving San Diego at 10:15 p.m. arrive at Medford's airport at 6:45 a.m. after flying a distance of 811 miles. Thus mail posted at night in San Diego is delivered in the morning mail at Medford. The northbound ship continues to arrive in Seattle at 11:00 a.m. Southbound, the plane from the north arrives at Medford at 9:15 a.m., and continues on to land at San Diego at 6:20 p.m.
    The pilots of Pacific Air Transport are all veterans with thousands of hours of flying experience. Several of them, including Ralph Virden, Russell Cunningham, Heber Miller and Grover Tyler, who are familiar to Medford residents, have been flying since the line was first started four years ago.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1930, page B5

    Ralph Virden, veteran Pacific Air Transport pilot and holder of the Pacific Coast air mail speed record, yesterday won his membership in the select group of fliers who have spent at least 6000 hours in the air. The aerial mail man reached his 6000th hour of flying time as he landed after his regular flight with mail and passengers over the Medford-Oakland division of the Seattle-San Diego airway.
    Virden, who learned to fly more than ten years ago, started hurrying ninety-horsepower mail planes up and down the coast when Pacific Air Transport pioneered its airway four years ago. He stayed with the company when it was acquired by Boeing System in 1928.
    His accident record sheet is blank, and Virden has never as much as scratched the wing of a plane. He holds the air mail speed record of 201 miles per hour, established when he flew his Boeing four-passenger mail plane from Medford to Oakland , 335 miles, in one hour forty minutes.
    Virden has flown more than sixty types of airplanes, ranging from the early wartime ships to the present Boeing mail-passenger planes, powered with 525-h.p. Hornet engines, used on the P.A.T. route.   
Medford Mail Tribune, September 9, 1930, page B1

    Today marks the fourth anniversary of the inauguration of the coast airmail and is being observed by pilots and field attaches at the Medford airport, where the Pacific Air Transport has its Southern Oregon terminus and intermediate stop between Portland and San Francisco. Ceremonies marked the first flight from the old airport at the fairgrounds with hundreds of spectators present.
    Since that time, the airport has been located north of Medford on Biddle Road, where the city of Medford voted a $120,000 bond issue to make a class A port possible. Night mail has been begun and the government has installed a radio station of its own, in addition to radio equipment operated by the air transport company.
    The present staff located in Medford, with several on duty since the first flight, is made up of Seely Hall, field superintendent; R. Cunningham, H. C. Miller, Grover Tyler, Harry Crandall and Al Gilhausen, pilots on duty on north- and southbound flights. William Rosenbalm has had the position of chief mechanic for four years. Ken Williams has been on duty for several months as radio operator.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 15, 1930, page 8

    BURBANK, Cal., Nov. 18.--(AP)--Ten airplanes left United airport an hour before noon today to search for a Pacific Air Transport mail and passenger plan believed to have been forced down crossing the Tehachapi Mountains between here and Bakersfield about midnight. Three persons were aboard the plane, which left United airport about 11:30 p.m., en route to Oakland.
    Aboard the plane were F. A. Donaldson, Burbank, pilot; Miss D. Markow, Los Angeles, a passenger, and George Rogers, Los Angeles, a company mechanic.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 18, 1930, page 5

Medford Pilot Who Aided in Filming "Hell's Angels"
"Died" 30 Times in Clouds

    "I was an Englishman one day and a German the next and was killed 30 times during the picture. But I still insist it's the greatest drama of the air ever filmed." Harry Crandall, stunt flier in "Hell's Angels," gave this description of the picture yesterday afternoon to the little group of air-minded motion picture fans who gathered around him at the local airport, to hear something about the gigantic production coming to the Holly next Wednesday from "one who was in it."
    Crandall, who now flies for Pacific Air Transport from Oakland to Medford, spent seven and a half months working in "Hell's Angels."
    "I've seen the whole of it, and I've seen it in pieces," he continued, "and it's wonderful. It's technically perfect. Huges spared nothing in making it the greatest air picture ever filmed. It cost four million dollars."
    Crandall's job in the picture was to bring down "all the planes in flames." His face was always dirty, as the photographs taken on the lot, which will be on display at the Holly Friday night, will show.
    He will appear in person at the Holly Theater for the opening of the picture and tell the audience several things about the filming of "Hell's Angels" that are not revealed on the screen.
    "Yes, there were three men killed while the picture was being filmed," he admitted yesterday, when questioned, "but I'd rather not talk about that. Just one is in the picture. He was killed when the bomber caught fire and went into a dive."
    Speaking of the stars in the picture, Crandal said, "Ben Lyons and Jimmy Hall had over 30 hours apiece in the air. I know they did because I saw them, dived after them lots of times. The main air scenes were taken at San Diego and over the San Fernando Valley. The dirigible scenes can't be exaggerated. Lots of the stuff can never be duplicated. Strange things happened and the camera men were on the job. For instance, the meeting of the two formations when the 18 English ships attack the German ships in what is known as a ‘dog fight.'"
    Asked about the 26-year-old millionaire nephew of Rupert Hughes, who is responsible for the production, Crandall smiled. "He's a real fellow, I've eaten many box lunches with him out on the lot and shot dice by the hour. That's the kind of man he is. He is one of the biggest reasons for the success of the picture. The pilots would do anything to please him. He's not money mad. And he has upset the picture business."
    "Dance halls, soldiers' love affairs, life before and after the war" were listed by Crandall as interesting sidelights of the picture. "And you never saw a story wind up like this one does," he concluded. "No, I'm not telling; you have to see it to understand."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 19, 1930, page 5

Pilot Donaldson, Mechanic Rogers and Miss Markow Passengers Located by Cowboy.
    BAKERSFIELD, Cal., Nov. 20.--(AP)--The bodies of pilot F. A. Donaldson, Miss Jean D. Markow and George Rogers, mechanic, killed in the crash of a mail plane Tuesday morning near Lebec, were brought here late last night. An inquest will be held this evening or Friday, Coroner N. Z. House said.
    The clock on the instrument board of the twisted mail plane was stopped at 2:15 o'clock, indicating that the crash occurred just 8 miles after the last cryptic message was picked up from the plane at 2:07 Tuesday morning, indicating Donaldson was circling helplessly over Tejon, trying to locate an emergency landing field.
    Miss Markow was celebrating her 18th birthday with a flight to Portland, Ore., to visit friends.
    For 43 hours the fate of the craft was unknown. Then Eddie M. Newson, cowboy, stumbled upon the broken mass late yesterday.
    The bodies of the girl and the mechanic were found near the spot where the plane first struck the stony earth. Donaldson's body was encased in the twisted metal of the plane where it plowed to a halt 500 feet away on the gently sloping plateau. The mail was unharmed. There had been no fire.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 20, 1930, page 1

Field Manager Hall of P.A.T. Reports Year of Development on Coast Plane Route—Night Flying a Feature of Progress
    A year of outstanding progress. That is the way Seely V. Hall, Medford field manager for Pacific Air Transport, characterizes the company's development of the Seattle-Medford-San Diego mail, passenger and express airway during 1930.
    Faster service, overnight southbound schedules, improved airport and terminal facilities, airway lighting, radio telephone installation and increased volume of passenger and mail traffic have combined to make the past year an important chapter in Pacific Air Transport's history.
    Installation of 525-horsepower Hornet engines on the four-passenger Boeing mail planes made possible faster schedules. The ships now cruise at an average speed of 108 miles per hour. Inauguration of the dusk-to-dawn southbound service took place in August, following the completion of airway lighting by the Department of Commerce.
New Schedule
    On the new southbound schedule, planes leaving Seattle at 7 p.m. and Medford at 11:05 p.m., arrive in Oakland at 2:40 a.m., Los Angeles at 6:35 a.m. and San Diego at 8:10 a.m.  Thus Medford's airmail to California cities is carried without loss of business hours.
    The results of the improved schedules are apparent in the following estimated figures for P.A.T.'s 1930 operations, quoted by Hall: 850,000 miles flown; 290,000 pounds of mail transported; and 3,800 passengers carried. These figures represent substantial increases over the 1929 operations.
    An addition of 115 miles was made on the airway this year when the southern terminal was extended from Los Angeles to San Diego with the authorization of the Post Office Department. The route is now 1206 miles in length. Seventy percent of the company's mileage over this line is flown at night.
Install Radio
    An important aspect of the company's progress during 1930 was the installation of radio telephone stations at Medford and other cities along the airway, and the equipment of the planes with the necessary apparatus to permit two-way voice communication between the planes and the ground stations. Pacific Air Transport has found that this feature has added greatly to the safety and efficiency of the operations over the coast airway.
    Pacific Air Transport is a unit of Boeing Systems, which also includes Boeing Air Transport, operator of the San Francisco-Oakland-Chicago mail, passenger and express airway. P. G. Johnson is president of the Boeing System mail-passenger lines.
    Pilots flying the Medford-Portland-Seattle division are Russell Cunningham, Heber Miller and Grover Tyler, with Charles Sullivan as relief pilot. On the Medford-Oakland division are Harry Crandall, Ralph Virden and Al Gilhousen.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1930, page B7

    PORTLAND, Jan. 3. (UP)--A fleet of 10 airplanes today renewed the search for pilot J. Russell Cunningham of the Pacific Air Transport company, who has been lost in Southern Oregon since early Thursday morning. Weather conditions were reported bad throughout the region where the pilot must have landed when he became lost in sleet and fog at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
Colusa Herald, January 3, 1931, page 3

Cunningham Undaunted by Experience in Forced Landing--
Problem of Salvaging $25,000 Plane Confronts P.A.T. Officials.

    OAKRIDGE, Ore., Jan. 1.--(AP)--J. Russell Cunningham, Pacific Air Transport pilot, whose arrival here last night ended a two-day search for him in Southern Oregon, today was ready to go back to his duties in the overnight mail-passenger service between Seattle and Medford.
    Cunningham disappeared early Thursday while flying from Medford to Seattle. No word was received from him after he radioed he would have to land. Air and land searching parties were organized soon after dawn Thursday but their efforts were fruitless.
    Cunningham's first act when he reached Oakridge was to notify his employers he was safe and was ready to go back to work. Late last night he left for Eugene to meet his wife, who was expected to arrive here today from Medford.
Encountered Fog.
    Cunningham said weather reports were favorable when he left Medford at 2:15 a.m. Thursday. It was more than an hour later that he ran into a dense fog. He turned back but was overtaken by a severe snowstorm. He tried to climb above the storm, but when he had reached an elevation of 11,000 feet his plane was so heavy with ice it began to settle and he realized he would have to land.
    Cunningham said he knew where he was and he set his plane down on the edge of a lake about 30 miles from here. His landing was successful except that one wing, the landing gear and his radio transmitter were damaged when the craft smashed into a tree. The flier was unhurt.
    The flier spent the remaining hours of the night in his plane, listening to radio messages about his disappearance. His receiving apparatus was not damaged.
Found Hard Going.
    Shortly after dawn Thursday, Cunningham started for Oakridge. His progress was impeded by deep snow, and he covered only 11 miles that day. He spent Thursday night in the open, without fire, and resumed his tramp Friday morning. He finally reached the Oakridge road and was nearing this city when a motorist picked him up.
    Cunningham said he felt no ill effects from his experience.
    Officials of the P.A.T. company were here today endeavoring to find ways and means of extricating the $25,000 airplane from the wilds of the tall woods surrounding it. Cunningham said he thought it would be necessary to completely dismantle the ship and carry it out by pack horses.
    The news last evening that Cunningham was not injured in the crash and had returned to civilization was received throughout the valley with a general feeling of relief after fears for his safety had been held over 36 hours. He is expected to return to Medford in two or three days, ready to resume his airmail flights. Nine airplanes used in the search for the pilot and his ship left today for their headquarters in Portland and Seattle.
    No plans have been made to salvage the wrecked airplane, and company officials were wondering today how complete salvage can be effected if the ship came down in heavily timbered mountain country.
Pilot Exhausted
    When Cunningham called the airport here last evening at 5 o'clock, he was unable to talk long due to exhaustion following his long walk and exposure, and local airmail officials were unable to learn complete information on the condition of the ship, valued at $25,000.
    Shortly before the aviator telephoned, an order for 2500 orange-colored bills was printed by the Medford Printing Company and were to have been scattered over isolated homesteads in the mountain area. In large black type the bills read: "Lost plane--If you saw or heard an airplane over locality on Thursday morning between the hours of 3 and 5:30 a.m., please get in immediate communication with Pacific Air Transport, Medford, Ore."
News Soon Known.
    Within a few minutes after word was received from Cunningham, the news of his safety was contained in an extra edition published by the Mail Tribune and broadcast over KMED, the Mail Tribune-Virgin station. On New Year's Day KMED sent out quite a number of calls asking for information if the plane had been heard by persons in the section where it was thought he had come down. One of the calls resulted in a woman walking several miles to a telephone to call the airport to say she thought she had heard a plane over her place early in the morning. She lives some distance from Roseburg.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 3, 1931, page 1

    Officials of the Pacific Air Transport Company, subsidiary of the Boeing air lines, publicly expressed appreciation yesterday for assistance given to them in the recent search for J. Russell Cunningham, veteran air mail pilot, who made a forced landing in mountainous country near Oakridge, while en route on a night airplane journey from Medford to Seattle, Wash.
    The appreciation was voiced locally by Seely Hall, local director for the company, who added that every member of the organization is likewise thankful for the interest and help given by the public.
    Cunningham is expected to resume air mail service in a few days and is now recovering from experiences surrounding the crash.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 4, 1931, page 7

    J. Russell Cunningham, Pacific Air Transport pilot, has been the object of considerable commendation throughout the state for the past several days for head work in making a forced landing in a strange mountain country early New Year's morning, 3 miles from Oakridge. Aviators say he has proved his right to the title "most scientific flier in the service."
    Cunningham is expected to return to Medford in a few days to resume flying on the regular Portland run. He left Eugene Sunday to locate the plane and make arrangements for bringing it out of the snow, six feet at Emigrant Lake, where he had landed. The ship is only slightly damaged and if possible it will be brought out by sleighs. Otherwise it will be covered up and brought out in the spring.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 5, 1931, page 3

    A reduction in excess baggage rates of 50 percent has just been announced by the Boeing System air lines on the San Francisco-Chicago and Portland-Seattle-San Diego routes. The same rates have also been put into force to all points on the West Coast Air Transport's system, and on the Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc. planes.
    The new baggage rates are based on one-half of one percent of the fare between points on the air route and will allow 30 pounds to be carried free by each passenger

Medford Mail Tribune, January 5, 1931, page 3

    As part of its expansion program, Pacific Air Transport today purchased three $22,500 Boeing mail-passenger planes for the Seattle-Medford-San Diego route. This announcement was made by Seely Hall, local representative.
    Weighing approximately three tons, these planes have 525-h.p. Hornet engines and cruise 115 miles an hour, providing a thirteen-hour overnight schedule between Seattle and San Diego. The ships are equipped with special flying equipment and radiotelephone for voice communication between the pilots and ground stations.
    Carrying out the practice of naming the company planes for prominent coastal mountains, the new planes are being named "Crater," "Dana" and "Wilson." Crater Peak is situated in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, and Mounts Dana and Wilson are in California.

Medford Mail Tribune, February 3, 1931, page 4

Big Western Pacific Planes Will Stop Every Other Day,
Says Medford Port Manager.

    The first scheduled stop of the Western Pacific air freight lines, subsidiary of the Pacific Air Transport and Boeing companies, was made at the Medford airport yesterday when a large tri-motored Ford plane landed while en route to San Francisco from Seattle with a load of 2300 pounds of frozen codfish. The next trip is to bring a large supply of cut flowers from Seattle to San Francisco.
    The freight line is operating two Ford ships and will make trips every other day, with Medford a regular stop, according to Phil Sharp, local manager for the Pacific Air Transport lines, who recently succeeded Seely Hall.
    The ships will haul no passengers and are equipped for night flying. The plane, arriving here yesterday, was piloted by C. A. Rector, assisted by J. M. Brewster, with Vern Hahn as mechanic. It landed at 5 o'clock last evening and continued its southward journey after taking on a supply of gas and oil.

Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1931, page 1

Brings Plane to Earth Near Roseburg En Route to Medford on Regular Run--Passengers Slightly Hurt in Forced Landing
    ROSEBURG, Ore., Mar. 3.--(AP)--H. E. Smith suffered a burned hand and cuts about the face and P. E. Hanson an injured eye in the forced landing of a Pacific Air Transport air mail plane, piloted by Grover Tyler, at Glide, 20 miles east of Roseburg last midnight. Smith and Hanson were from Seattle. Another passenger, C. L. Stevens, of Boston and the pilot were uninjured.
    Tyler was forced down when fire was discovered in the mail compartment. In landing the plane bounced, hitting a bunch of scrub oak trees and ripping off both wings. The pilot and passengers were protected by the fuselage.
    The mail was only slightly damaged. None of it was destroyed.
    The motor and fuselage of the plane were undamaged, and the plane will probably be brought to Roseburg by truck later today.
    Hanson is in the Roseburg hospital. His eye was injured by splinters from the trees struck by the plane in landing.
    The plane was bound to Medford from Portland.
    The fire was discovered by Tyler as the plane neared Mount Scott, north of Glide. The pilot slipped the plane from an altitude of 4000 feet, shutting off the engine.
    The pilot and passengers suffered from smoke but used the fire extinguisher to save the mail and plane. Tyler remained with the plane until daylight.
    C. L. Stevens, one of the passengers of the wrecked ship, arrived in Medford by train this forenoon and was taken to the airport upon his arrival in the city. He boarded another Pacific Air Transport ship and left Medford at 1 o'clock, continuing his southbound trip.
    In speaking to local people about the crash, Mr. Stevens was loud in his praise for pilot Tyler in the way he handled the situation upon discovering the mail cargo was burning.
    CHEYENNE, Wyo., March 3.--(AP)--A forced landing 17 miles east of Cheyenne early today resulted in injuries to C. V. Pickup of Cheyenne, air mail pilot for the Boeing Air Transport Company, and damage to his ship, officials of the company announced.
    Pickup was attempting to penetrate clouds and snow to carry the eastbound air mail through.
    A rancher who took the pilot and mail to his home notified Boeing officials. The mail was taken in another eastbound ship with only a slight delay.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 3, 1931, page 1

Flames Start in Mail Container of P.A.T. Ship, Which May Be Salvaged
    Fire, which apparently started in the mail compartment of the southbound P.A.T. mail plane, piloted by Grover Tyler, veteran army and transport flier, forced the ship, carrying three passengers from Seattle, into an emergency landing on the Shrum place near Glide shortly before midnight last night. The plane was wrecked and two of the passengers, H. E. Smith, Seattle public accountant, and T. A. Hanson, Seattle retail lumber dealer, suffered minor injuries. The third passenger, C. L. Stevens, also of Seattle and the pilot escaped without injuries of any kind.
    The mail was scorched, but none demolished. Cool and quick work on the part of the pilot and the prompt action of Mr. Smith in fighting the flames blowing back into the cabin saved the plane and the lives of its occupants, it was stated. A landing was made in an unimproved field, where the plane struck a copse of scrub oak and ash trees of small diameter, stripping the wings from the fuselage, but cushioning the shock of the crash landing so that there were no severe injuries to the occupants.
    The fire was discovered, it was reported, shortly before the plane reached Glide. Smoke suddenly poured into the cabin, followed by a puff of flame. Smith seized a fire extinguisher and fought the flames in the cabin and brought them under control, while the cool-headed pilot maneuvered his ship for a quick landing. Mr. Smith burned his left hand quite severely when he grabbed the red hot fire extinguisher, and also suffered a slight cut on the forehead when the ship landed. Hanson received a bump on the head as he was pitched from his seat by the force of the landing in the trees and received a gash and bruises over his left eye.
    As soon as the ship landed, pilot Tyler looked to the safety of his passengers and then extinguished the fire in the mail compartment and saved the cargo. Some of the letters were burned around the edges and were scorched, but there was little material damage.
    The injured men were brought to Roseburg, where they were treated by Dr. B. R. Shoemaker. Mr. Hanson was taken to the Roseburg General Hospital, while Mr. Smith remained at the Umpqua Hotel.
Passenger Praises Tyler
    "We were enjoying a most wonderful ride, as it was a bright, moonlit night," Mr. Smith said this morning, "when suddenly a great burst of smoke filled the cabin, followed by a blast of flame. I was sitting in the front seat of the cabin and reached through the flames and sized the fire extinguisher, which was red hot. I did not realize at the time that my hand was burned, as I guess the excitement dulled the pain.
   "The smoke was suffocating and I realized that I was becoming unconscious. I tried to get my head out of the open window to get a breath of air, but everything began to go black. Suddenly the pilot dropped the plane in a terrific sideslip, and a blast of fresh air cleared the cabin from smoke, and I immediately revived.
    "I cannot begin to praise pilot Tyler enough for the way he handled that plane. As soon as the fire appeared, he cut off his motor and began banking for a landing. He picked out a suitable field and dropped with a long slip, which blew the fire away from the cabin, and then cut in his motor again and circled into the field."
Trees Ease Landing
     The plane was landed in a long pasture adjoining the Shrum place on the banks of Little River, near Glide, 20 miles east of Roseburg at the junction of the Little River and Buckhorn roads. The plane apparently lacked speed to hurdle the small copse of trees, and plunged into the thicket. However, the trees were all small so that they broke the force of the fast landing. The lower wings of the biplane were wiped off and the upper wings remained intact, giving the pilot and passengers protection. The motor was undamaged.
    Pilot Tyler accounted for his passengers and tossed them a first aid kit from the smoldering cabin and then seized a fire extinguisher with which he fought out the fire in the mail compartment.
Glide Teachers Aid
    Clarence Eaggy and H. E. Earhart, teachers at the Glide school, who reside near the scene of the accident, saw the plane coming in for a landing and reached the spot within a few minutes. They immediately brought Smith and Hanson to the hospital.
    Mr. Stevens and the pilot remained at the plane until daylight when a guard, I. O. Strohecker, of Glide, was placed over the mail and the two came to town. As soon as pilot Tyler made his report, he returned to the ship to await the arrival of postal authorities.
Officials Summoned
    L. J. Hubble, division superintendent for the Pacific Air Transport Company, accompanied by W. A. Patterson of the Seattle headquarters, took a plane out of Portland shortly after they received the news of the accident, intending to stop at Roseburg. It was too foggy, however, to land here and they continued to Medford. They were joined there this morning by Dr. E. H. Padden, company physician, who flew to Medford from Oakland, California, and the three men drove to Roseburg this morning, arriving shortly before 10 o'clock. They had the mail brought from the wrecked plane to Roseburg and arranged for salvaging the plane.
    The ship is being brought to Roseburg by truck and will probably be taken to Seattle.
    The three passengers were all Seattle men. Mr. Smith was on his way to San Francisco and is preparing to continue his trip this afternoon.
    Mr. Hanson was on his way to Los Angeles. His wife is driving to Roseburg today, and they will continue south following her arrival.
    Mr. Stevens is on his way to Boston and left early this morning by auto stage for Medford.
    The three passengers praised the pilot very highly for his efficient work in the emergency, and despite their accident have lost little of their enthusiasm for flying.

Roseburg News-Review, March 3, 1931, page 1

Purchase of West Coast Air Transport by P.A.T. Shifts Landing from Montague to Medford--Carry 10 Passengers.
    Medford assumes new importance on the air network today, as Pacific Air Transport announces it has purchased the equipment of West Coast Air Transport and has made Medford a port of call on a new Seattle-Oakland tri-motored plane daylight service. The planes carry ten passengers and two pilots.
    Pacific Air Transport, whose night mail-passenger planes on the Seattle-San Diego run have called at Medford for four years, is eliminating Montague as a stop and substituting Medford, effective today. It is the first regular tri-motored passenger plane service Medford has had.
    Phil Sharp. resident manager of Pacific Air Transport, announced that the tri-motored passenger planes will require only two hours fifty minutes from Medford to San Francisco Bay; two hours five minutes to Portland; three hours forty-five minutes to Seattle, including a twenty-minute stop in Portland. Mr. Sharp states that the new schedule, effective today, gives Medford two trips southbound and two trips northbound daily.
Four-Plane Schedule
    The schedule includes daily stops here by the southbound tri-motor passenger carrier at 12:25 p.m. and the mail-passenger plane at 11:05 p.m. Northbound passenger plane leaves at 12:20 p.m. and the mail-passenger ships at 7 a.m.
    Purchase of equipment of the West Coast Air Transport by Pacific Air Transport, a unit of Boeing System, makes Pacific Air Transport the only operator between Oakland and Seattle and, in addition, it will continue to fly the "Overnight Limited" air mail-passenger planes between Seattle and San Diego via Medford.
    "Pacific Air Transport, which has been flying mail-passenger planes for four years, is the pioneer coastwise operator and is now in a position to substantially expand its activities. In addition to the new passenger service offered, the company has plans for still further expansion of its passenger-carrying activities on the coast," said Mr. Sharp.
See Good Business
    "The wisdom of Medford in providing a splendid airport is evidenced by its being made a regular division point on Boeing System's deluxe Pacific Coast passenger transport service. We anticipate a splendid business from the Rogue River Valley, as frequently we have been unable to offer sufficient space for the travelers who wanted to board our planes here. Now, with two planes daily each way, and one of them a large passenger transport, we will be able to give the valley excellent service."
    Pacific Air Transport has flown mail-passenger planes three and one-half million miles on the coast airways since its first flight in 1926.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1931, page 3

    In view of the number of miles traveled and passengers carried, aviation today is regarded as a safe means of travel, especially in comparison to other methods of transportation, Harry Crandall, air mail pilot of the Pacific Air Transport Company, told members of the Lions Club in noon luncheon today at the Holland Hotel. Mr. Crandall is recognized as one of the most adept pilots in the service and has a regular run between Medford and Oakland, Cal.
    When a train wrecks, kills a score of people and injures many, it is big news for a day or two, but when a plane crashes and kills a much smaller number, it has the attention of the public for weeks, Mr. Crandall said. He pointed out that the Pacific Air Transport has covered many thousands of miles with a minimum amount of trouble, resulting in a percentage much lower than any other type of transportation, as far as danger is concerned.
    Aviation has a great future, the speaker said.
    Mr. Crandall cited cases where airplanes have resulted in great saving of time for business men, whose duties sometimes almost require them to be in two places at the same time.
    He gave one of the most interesting talks heard at the Lions Club for some time and was heartily applauded.
    Music for today's luncheon was furnished by the Novelty Four string orchestra of Rogue River, composed of Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Switzer, James Beck and Orph Switzer. The musicians furnished good entertainment.
    There will be no luncheon next Wednesday, due to ladies' night scheduled for that evening, with a dinner at 6:30, followed by a moving picture party at the Holly Theater.
    Roy Elliott, Oscar Anderson and H. S. Cleveland were named on the entertainment committee for the noon session of April 15.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1931, page 8

    There was another star on the sleeve of Heber Miller, veteran Pacific Air Transport mail-passenger plane pilot, yesterday.
    For each thousand hours of flying with the company, the pilot is entitled to wear a star, and with yesterday's flight on the Medford-Portland-Seattle division, Miller completed his four thousandth hour with the Pacific Air Transport, giving him a total of 6000 hours flying time.
    Miller has made 600 round trips on the Medford-Portland-Seattle airway.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1931, page 3

    Grover Tyler, veteran Pacific Air Transport mail-passenger pilot on the Seattle-Medford-San Diego airway, yesterday observed his fifth anniversary as a member of the company personnel. He has the distinction not only of being the oldest coast pilot in point of service, but also of aiding in the project of establishing the airway before mail service was inaugurated.
    He entered Pacific Air Transport's service on April 9, 1926, three months after the company received a contract to carry mail between the Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles. With the schedule calling for night flying on the southern division, Tyler set out in a "flivver,
" with beacon lights and tools in the back seat, and set up the lights along the airway to guide himself and other pilots while flying between dusk and dawn.
    The service was started in wartime planes with 90-horsepower engines and a speed of around 75 miles per hour.
    Today Tyler, flying on the northern division of the line, pilots a Boeing mail-passenger plane with a 525-h.p. Hornet engine, which has a speed of 135 miles per hour. The airway is fully lighted for night flying, the U.S. Weather Bureau maintains complete reporting services, and the planes are equipped with radio-telephones to permit communication with ground stations.
    Tyler has nearly 5000 hours of flying time to his credit and is rated as one of the most dependable veterans in the nation's air mail-passenger service.   

Medford Mail Tribune, April 10, 1931, page 8

Crushed Bodies Found in Wreckage on Mountainside--Art Starbuck, Veteran of Air Mail Service, Well Known in Medford 
    BURBANK, Cal., May 6.--(AP)--Heavy fog over the city proved a death shroud for Art Starbuck and Charles R. Parmalee, pilot and copilot, respectively, of a Pacific Air Transport mail plane, whose crushed bodies were found today in the wreckage of their plane on a mountainside, eight miles north of here.
    Parmalee was for four years a flier for the Pan-American airways.
    Both pilots were married and each had one child. Starbuck lived in Los Angeles, Parmalee in Oakland.
    Officials of the Pacific Air Transport Company here said they were in touch with the plane by radio shortly before the ill-fated ship crashed. The plane was flying at about 2500 feet, they said, and the pilots did not report they were unable to find the landing field, although a dense fog shrouded the city.
En Route Los Angeles
    The plane left San Diego at 10:15 o'clock last night for Los Angeles and shortly before midnight officials at the company's airport here heard the drone of the engine as the plane circled Burbank in a vain effort to locate the landing field.
    Officials said the ship carried a radio and that they were in touch with it for a moment, the pilots reporting they were flying at 2500 feet.
    After circling for a few moments, the ship headed toward the north.
    Because of the dense fog, scouting planes could not take up the search and lead the lost ship to its base.
Wreck Soon Sighted
    At the first streak of dawn, however, two planes took off. The fog had lifted somewhat and shortly afterward the mail plane was sighted on the mountainside, a complete wreck.
    As soon as the plane was found, automobiles and ambulances started for the scene, the latter in the faint hope the fliers had bailed out and were alive, although injured.
    However, the hope was dashed when the rescuers arrived. Both pilots were strapped in their seats and both had died instantly. The ship did not catch fire.
    Starbuck had been with the transport company four years, while Parmalee had been with it a similar time.

    OAKLAND, Cal., May 6.--(AP)--Arthur Starbuck, Los Angeles, killed at Burbank today in an airplane crash, was the first pilot of the Pacific Air Transport. He flew between Oakland and Medford, Ore. His first flight was in 1914.
    In 1917 Starbuck joined the army and became a flying instructor. After the war he organized private flying schools over the country. He organized one at Santa Rosa, Cal. He was considered one of the best fliers in the country.
    Starbuck crashed at Shasta Springs three years ago and broke a leg.

Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1931, page 1

Dead Aviator on Oakland-Medford Route Three Years--Stunt at Fair Grounds Was Thriller
    Starbuck was well known in Medford and Southern Oregon and for three years flew mail between Medford and Oakland, Cal. He began flying here at the time the Pacific Air Transport Company was organized and was regarded as one of the most skilled pilots in the service. Three years ago he wrecked his ship when it came down in a snowstorm near Mr. Shasta City, Cal., and narrowly escaped death. He was transferred to Southern California a year ago last February.
    He had a wide circle of friends in Medford and enabled some of the local fliers, including Harold Sanders, to sprout pilot's wings. He is remembered for a thrilling stunt exhibition he gave one year at the fairgrounds during a county fair.
Stole Air Show
    Some fliers had been engaged to give air entertainment, but their work looked tame when Starbuck went up to provide a little entertainment on his own initiative. He was so good that he soon took the show from the other pilots. That was about the only time he ever gave a stunt exhibition.
    Although he had been flying for years, he had never used a parachute, and declared that jumping just for the sake of jumping was a bit of foolishness. In his thousands of hours in the air, he had never found one necessary.
Pal of Patterson
    When the Pacific Air Transport Company began operations, he shared the Oakland run with pilot Pat Patterson, who came to his death four years ago when his plane crashed in winter fog on a mountain near Talent. Patterson, like Starbuck, was considered one of the best pilots in the service. In those days, Starbuck flew a Ryan plane, now supplanted by the high-powered Boeing ships, one of which he was flying when he crashed near Burbank last night.
    His co-pilot, Parmalee, never flew out of Medford, but he had been a visitor here.
    Starbuck was formerly a member of Medford American Legion post.

Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1931, page 1

    The first stop of the border-to-border schedule of the Pacific Air Transport was made this noon at the local airport, welcomed by a group of city officials and citizens. The ship, a huge tri-motored Ford plane, carried a capacity passenger list and came down to earth on schedule. The new service makes it possible for the ships to fly to San Diego, Calif., from Seattle, Wash., in daylight and is regarded as a great benefit in service for air-minded travelers.
    Greetings were taken by north- and southbound ships from local officials to Mayor Rolph of San Francisco, Mayor Baker's office in Portland and to other coast points celebrating the first flight. Greetings were received by Medford officials and the chamber of commerce from Mayor Rolph and other coast dignitaries.

Medford Mail Tribune, May 28, 1931, page 5

    Consolidation of management, operations, traffic and sales activities of four eastern and western air passenger and express lines, flying approximately 12,000,000 miles annually, is announced by F. B. Rentschler, president of United Aircraft & Transport Corporation. The four transport units will be designated as divisions of United Air Lines, which become the largest air transport operators in the world in point of mileage flown. General headquarters will be maintained in Chicago.
    Medford is an important division point on Pacific Air Transport division of United Air Lines, which will continue to operate both day and night mail-passenger service between Seattle, Medford and San Diego. Phil Sharp is resident manager.
    Air lines involved are: National Air Transport, New York to Chicago, Chicago to Dallas; Boeing Air Transport, Chicago to San Francisco; Pacific Air Transport, Seattle to San Diego; Varney Air Lines, Salt Lake City to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

Medford Mail Tribune, June 1, 1931, page 8

    A new and original type of Rotary meeting was held Tuesday noon at the Medford airport with a large number of Rotarians and guests present. Luncheon was served in the huge hangar building by the airport café concession after which a tour of the administration building was conducted by Phil Sharp, local manager of the Pacific Air Transport system.
    The meeting was in the nature of a celebration in honor of the new "Border-to-Border" daylight service recently instituted by the P.A.T. air lines.
    The program was in charge of two "air-minded' Rotarians--Chas. Wing and Henry Fluhrer--and the entire session revealed that all present were very much "air-conscious."
    Among distinguished guests called upon for talks were A. W. Pipes, who was Medford's mayor at the time the new airport was built, and councilman Jos. Grey, who was chairman of the airport committee at the time.
    Mr. Pipes congratulated the Medford Rotarians upon being the first local service club to hold a luncheon meeting at the airport and reviewed briefly the early history of the port.
    The fact that the Medford airport was able to pay operating expenses within six months after being completed should be a source of satisfaction to local citizens, according to the speaker, who told of the splendid advertising this city is receiving. He called attention to the new posters put out by the P.A.T. lines which show Medford in the same size type as San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and other large cities. Incidentally, Medford is the only small city from Seattle to San Diego represented on this poster, which is being distributed all over the coast.
    Councilman Grey told of some of the early construction problems encountered by the airport committee and spoke of the nationwide advertising Medford is getting as a result of the new port. The interest charges paid by the city on the bond issue represent a small investment in proportion to the advertising benefits we are receiving, according to the speaker.
    Ted Baker told of the national and Pacific Coast air tours which will visit Medford this year and announced the army tour, which will bring 60 planes here next Monday.
    Rotarian Chas. Furnas, chairman of the local airport committee, stated that the Medford airport had put Medford "on the map" just as the railroads had put various cities on the map in former years. He also predicted that Medford would soon have two air-mail services north and south each day.
    Manager Phil Sharp and Observer Hutchins gave short talks of greeting to the Rotarians after which they conducted the group through the various departments of the administration building, explaining the radio, weather reports and other details so necessary to successful air transportation.
    Jack Carle announced the Home Products dinner Thursday night and Chas. Hoover called upon the Rotarians to provide cars for the state Grange convention to be held here next week.
    Visiting Rotarians were C. M. Coffey of Portland and P. A. Brainerd of Grants Pass. Guests included A. W. Pipes, J. O. Grey, Phil Sharp, Herb Grey, Ted Baker, J. O. Hutchins and George Wing of Banning, Calif.
    Moving pictures of the unique luncheon and the inspection of the airport were taken by Rotarian Horace Bromley, for the Copco news reel.

Medford Mail Tribune, June 3, 1931, page 7

    Additional air mail service will be inaugurated on next Monday, June 15, by the tri-motor transport planes of the Pacific Air Transport, by giving from that time on twice-a-day service, instead of once-a-day service as now, it was announced this noon by Roland G. Beach, assistant postmaster.
    For transmission of air mail from Medford to New York and other Atlantic Coast points it will be an advance of 24 hours, and of course western and middle west air mail service will enjoy a corresponding quicker air mail service, and the Pacific Coast service will also be speeded up.
    For instance, beginning after Monday instead of arriving from the coast in New York at 8 p.m., and having to lay over in that city until 8 a.m. next day for delivery, air mail will reach the metropolitan city at 5 a.m. and be delivered the same day.
    Air mail leaving here next Monday noon for New York will arrive in that city Wednesday morning.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 12, 1931, page 3

    Medford now has a new air mail schedule with the addition today by the post office department of air mail service on the recently inaugurated daylight trimotored passenger service of the Pacific Air Transport  division of United Air Lines, it was announced today by Phil Sharp, company representative here.
    The planes leave Seattle 8:00 a.m. and Portland 9:30 a.m., departing from Medford at 11:30 a.m., and reach San Francisco at 2:45 p.m., Los Angeles 6:00 p.m., and San Diego 7:20 p.m.
    Northbound the daylight passenger-mail trimotors take off from San Diego at 7:30 a.m., Los Angeles 8:50 a.m., and San Francisco 12:05 p.m., and land in Medford at 2:45 p.m. The northbound plane is continued with departure from Medford at 2:55 p.m., with arrival at Portland 5:20 p.m., Tacoma 6:20 p.m., and Seattle 6:50 p.m.
    Sharp pointed out that the new schedule will complement the company's present night mail-passenger service with departure southbound from Medford at 11:05 p.m., and with northbound departure at 7:00 p.m.
    While the trimotored airliners are carrying an increasingly large number of passengers, Sharp stated that the powerful planes would be able to carry a considerable volume of airmail.
    The mail sacks will be transported in special wing compartments.

Medford Mail Tribune, June 15, 1931, page 2

    Eighteen pilots whose average individual flying time is nearly 4,000 hours are now employed by the Pacific Air Transport, subsidiary of United Air Lines, to fly the trimotored passenger-mail transports and the night mail-passenger planes on the Seattle-San Diego airway, it was reported today. In addition a number of co-pilots assist in flying the large air liners on the daylight schedules.
    Of the 18 fliers, six piloted mail planes on the coast when the airway was first inaugurated by Pacific Air Transport in 1926. They include George W. Allen, Frank Anderline, Charles R. Bowman, Heber Miller, Grover Tyler and Ralph Virden. E. L. Remelin, Al Gilhousen, Harry Crandall and John C. Johnston are also ranked in the veteran class, as they have been flying on the West Coast during the past several years.
    Virden and Miller are four-star veterans, each having flown more than 4,000 hours with the company, in addition to their previous flying experience. Tyler and Bowman have 3,500 hours of experience with the company, while Crandall, Gilhousen and Remelin have well over 2,000 hours of experience of coast flying time.
    Other veterans of the P.A.T. staff include Harold R. Adams, R. H. Bouderaux, W. L. Campbell, Noel V. Evans, M. J. Guglielmetti, Charles B. Stead and Charles F. Sullivan. Russell Cunningham, superintendent for Pacific Air Transport, also flew mail when the company started its service five years ago. This year he retired from active flying to take over his new position.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 9, 1931, page 5

Medford Pilot and 3 Passengers Die in Plane Explosion
Pilot Ray Bouderaux Unable Land Burning Plane Before Gasoline Ignited--Mail Destroyed
Pilot Lived Here.
    Ray Bouderaux, 33, pilot of the ill-fated plane which was due here at 6:45 this morning, made his home with Phil Sharp, superintendent of Medford airport, in the bungalow at the field. His mother, who lives in San Francisco, visited him here three weeks ago.
       OAKLAND, Cal., Sept. 16--(AP)--A single-motored Pacific Air Transport caught fire here early today and plunged into San Francisco Bay, killing the pilot and three passengers.
    The dead:
    Kirk Herre, Seattle Star representative.
    W. H. Bissell, San Francisco.
    F. I. Sheahan, San Francisco.
    Shortly after taking off for Medford, Ore. en route to Portland, at 4 a.m., the plane caught fire in an undetermined manner. The pilot apparently fought desperately to make a safe landing, flying low over the housetops when the flames broke out. The plane dived several hundred feet into the tide flats.
Explosion Seen.
    As it struck, witnesses said, there was an explosion, throwing burning gasoline and airplane parts into the air. The 400 pounds of mail, much of it just in from Los Angeles, was virtually all destroyed. Most of the letters were so badly burned their origin and destination could not be made out.
    Bouderaux was a former army flier, having been stationed at Crissy Field, San Francisco. He joined P.A.T. only recently. Bissell and Sheahan had booked passage to Portland and Herre was returning to Seattle.
Accident Witnessed
    August Parodi, Bay Farm Island vegetable grower, told officials he saw the plane strike the water as he was leaving his garage about three-quarters of a mile away.
    "The pilot was flying so low over the houses on the island I thought he was going to hit a roof," Parodi said. "The motor seemed to be hitting perfectly, but suddenly I saw flames shoot out and race back through the fuselage. A moment later the plane dived into the water. The explosion at that instant was terrific and burning gasoline shot into the air with parts of the plane."
    The plane evidently began fighting the weather almost immediately after taking off from the Oakland airport at 3:45 a.m., in the face of a 400' ceiling and with a 12-mile visibility.
Firemen Reach Wreck.
    Alameda firemen rowed out from the island and picked up two registered mail sacks from the water and gathered up a score of letters. Most of the mail was burned beyond possibility of determining its source or destination.
    Much of the mail the plane carried had been brought in a few minutes earlier in a plane from Los Angeles.
    Federal aviation officials started an investigation.
    Because of low tide, it was impossible for salvage crews to reach the plane at once. As soon as the tide came in ships were ordered to bring in the bodies and the wreckage of the plane.
    A few minutes after taking off the pilot reported to the Oakland airport that he was flying over Berkeley, which was covered with dense fog.
    "My ceiling is 600 feet. I am flying under the fog. All is O.K." This was added by Bouderaux.
    Five minutes later the crash was heard.
    William Henne, night superintendent for the Boeing Lines, and O. L. Richardson, Boeing field manager, leaped into a speedboat and started for the wreck but because of low water they could not get near it.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1931, page 1

    An exhibition of "blind" flying was given today at the local airport by Russell Cunningham, general superintendent of the Pacific Air Transport, and Frank Anderline, pilot for the entertainment of the Lions Club, which had luncheon in the hangar building.
    Closed in by a hood, which shuts out all the outside world, Anderline took the plane over the valley, piloting it through instruction of instruments alone after it left the runway. The radio used for communication with the ground is also used as a means of receiving reports from the instructor under the new system.
    Each time the plane swooped low over the field the brave Lions edged toward cover, and none of them requested a lift in the "blind" flying expedition.
    Mr. Cunningham is going over the Pacific Air Transport system giving "blind" flying lessons.
    Marc Jarmin was program chairman for today, and voiced the club's appreciation of the hospitality extended the members by Phil Sharp and other members of the airport staff. The only complaint voiced by the club was against the volunteer waiter, who invaded the kitchen and ran off with the coffee.
    Ensign J. R. Pack reminded the club members of the Community Chest meeting to be held tomorrow evening and urged all who are members of the organization represented in the chest to attend.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 30, 1931, page 2

Last revised March 19, 2024