Photograph of airmail pilot Wesley Smith
Wesley Smith was a pilot for the Post Office Department's airmail service. He flew the mail from November 8, 1919 June 15, 1927, making him one of the longest serving pilots in the Department. He spent most of his time in the service based in the New York and New Jersey airmail fields.
On April 27, 1920 Smith was flying the mail between College Park, Maryland and Newark, New Jersey when he encountered a heavy fog. He flew over it, using his compass. When he came down to see where he was, he flew into trees on the Orange Mountains. Smith survived that crash and continued to fly for the Air Mail Service until it was turned over to private contractors. At that time, Smith went on to serve as the operations manager for National Aviation Transport (NAT).
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection