Photograph of airmail pilot Reuben Wagner
Reuben Wagner served as a pilot for the Post Office Department's airmail service from April 23, 1923 to June 30, 1927. During those years he was stationed first at the Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois, airmail fields. In 1924 he was transferred to the Omaha, Nebraska airfield. In October 1929 Wagner took part in the fifth National Air Tour. Wagner flew a Boeing 95 with a Pratt & Whitney Hornet 535 horse power engine. Wagner ended the race towards the back of the pack, winning $200 for his efforts (top prize was $2500). The race covered much of the east coast and Midwest, with flyers traveling a circular route from Dearborn, Michigan to Montreal, Canada, and from Portland, Maine to Jacksonville, Florida, Wichita, Kansas, and St. Paul, Minnesota before heading back to Dearborn. The race was won by pilot John Livingston, who flew a Waco CSO aircraft with a 225 horse power Wright J6-7 engine.
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection