Photograph of airmail pilot Earl F. Ward
Airmail pilot Earl F. Ward served as a Post Office Department airmail pilot from December 21, 1923 until August 31, 1927. On the night of October 2, 1926, Ward crashed just before 2am while trying to land at Sunbury, Pennsylvania's emergency airmail landing field. A special package of film footage of the World Series was in the mailbags. Two men who had witnessed the crash helped Ward salvage the mail, but they were unable to find all of the film boxes. Pilot Harry Chandler flew to the site and loaded Ward and the recovered mail into his airplane and proceeded to Cleveland, Ohio. Some of the film footage was found a few days later, along with Ward's extra set of clothes and some personal items, by kids walking along the Susquehanna River.
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection