Telegram from Gerston on September 4, 1918
On September 4, 1918, Louis Gertson wrote a telegram message to Capt. Benjamin B. Lipsner on a blank form at the Western Union Telegram office. It was then rendered into Morse code [in care of] Care Carlisle Postmaster, [location] Aerial Mail Division at Chicago, Illinois. The sender’s address or telephone number is omitted. Since Gertson did not put an “X” on the Class of Service Desired, the message was sent as a full-rate telegram, emphasizing its importance.
The message “Everything in readiness here,” signed by Louis Gertson, refers to the Post Office Department’s long-awaited pathfinder round-trip flight between Belmont Park, Long Island, New York, and Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, which would occur the next day, September 5, 1918. Pilots selected for the 745-mile trip were Walter “Max” Miller and Edward V. “Turk” Gardner. Gertson, a senior pilot with the U.S. Airmail Service, was designated by Lipsner as an official observer of the Cleveland portion of the New York–Chicago–New York trip. By “readiness” he referred to the condition of the two types of aircraft scheduled for the trip. Miller would fly the new Standard JR-1B biplane, and Gardner would fly the Curtiss R4-1M two-place biplane, similar to the Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” used by the U.S. Army as a trainer.