Photograph of airmail pilot Shirley J. Short
Shirley J. Short flew as a postal airmail pilot from March 2, 1923 until August 31, 1927. He posed for this photograph in his de Havilland DH-4B airmail plane. The de Havilland aircraft were matched with specific pilots, with that pilot's name being painted on his airplane. During much of that time he flew the mail between Chicago, Illinois and Cleveland, Ohio. He was a solid and reliable airmail pilot, and in recognition of his service he was selected as the recipient of the 1926 Harmon Trophy for the United States, an award given by the Ligue Internationale des Aviators. The award sponsors chose Short "in recognition of [Short's] splendid achievements during the year 1926." In that year, Short had flown 718 hours without any serious accident in all kinds of weather, through winter and summer on regularly scheduled trips, 47% of which were night flights. On March 6, 1927, Short was invited to a ceremony honoring his award at the White House.
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection