Telegram to Benjamin Lipsner, September 6, 1918
The night of September 6, 1918 at 11:55 p.m. Louis Gerston, senior Post Office Department pilot, wired a 33-word Western Union telegram to Captain Benjamin Lipsner informing him that Max Miller landed seven miles from here [Cleveland, Ohio] at dusk. Gertson says that Miller has a leaky radiator he will fix so he can continue his flight at noon. Miller is staying at the hotel in Cleveland now.
Captain Lipsner designated Gertson as official observer of the Cleveland portion of the New York to Chicago path finder flights, which began September 5, 1918.
Max Miller, flying a new Standard JR-1B biplane, departed Belmont Park, New York on September 5, 1918, at 7:08 a.m. He was the first of the two pilots to take off on the New York to Chicago path finder flights. The other, Edward V. “Turk” Gardner, was flying a Curtiss R4-1M two-seat biplane with mechanic Edward C. Radel.
Miller flew for two hours then, thinking he was letting down near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, discovered he was about a mile from Danville, Pennsylvania. Forty-five minutes later he landed in Lock Haven. After repairing his leaky radiator, he left Lock Haven at 11:45 a.m. Running into a storm he took a chance and landed on the side of a hill beside a farmhouse. The farmer pointed a gun at him and he took off again. Next he encountered a hospitable farmer in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Now way off course he found himself in Cambridge, Ohio. At 6:10 p.m. Miller started for Cleveland with a leaking radiator. Twice he landed on the way to Cleveland for water. After circling he landed at 8:25 p.m. in a “…prairie seven miles from the city” (Lipsner).