Photograph of airmail pilot Lt. Torrey Webb and NYC Postmaster Thomas G. Patten
New York City Postmaster Thomas Patten is photographed handing Lt. Torrey Webb equipment to make ready for one of the first regularly scheduled airmail flights in the United States. On May 15, 1918, the United States officially established airmail service between New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, under the direction of the Post Office Department, using army aircraft and pilots. The Army Air Corps pilots chosen to fly that day were Lieutenants Howard Culver, Torrey Webb, Walter Miller and Stephen Bonsal. Lt. Webb carried the first day’s mail in this Curtiss "Jenny" aircraft numbered 38278 from a temporary airmail field at Belmont Park, Long Island, New York to Bustleton Field, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.