|H. Paul Culver, 1918.||H. Paul Culver, 1956.|
Since the last Chirp 11 more have entered the sacred portals and still others are suffering microscopic examination by the membership committee. Messrs. Kabitzke, Upson and Wood were on hand at the air race reunion and dinner. The following were endorsed by the committee and approved by the trustees as of August 24, 1938;
Howard Paul Culver heads the Culver Engineering Corporation. Walter Lees verifies that he learned to fly a Curtiss JN6 at Newport News in 1916, soloing in an F boat. Victor Vernon and Carl Bates were his instructors. He holds Aero Club certificate 673 and expert certificate 74. He enlisted in the O.R.C. and became instructor at Princeton first part of 1917 and later served at various Air Services fields. He flew the first air mail Washington-New York, May 15, 1918, and continued on his air mail assignment until the Post Office Department took it over from the Army, when he returned to Air Service experimental work at Bolling Field until his discharge the end of the war.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
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H. Paul Culver of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was born in Eau Claire in 1893. He grew up in Ashland, Wis., and graduated from St. John's Military Academy in Delafield. He received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was a member of the American Legion. Mr. Culver learned to fly at the Curtiss School of Aviation in Newport News, Virginia and received F.A.I. Airplane Pilot's Certificate #565 on August 25, 1916. During the First World War, he was a test pilot and instructor in combat flying at several U. S. Army airfields, including Wright Field at Dayton, Ohio; Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas: Ellington Field, Houston, Texas; and Bolling Field at Washington, D. C.
Paul Culver was one of four pilots who flew the nation's first regular two-way airmail run between New York City and the nation's capitol , on May 15, 1918. His was the second leg of that historic three and one half hour mail run, in a single engine, open cockpit, wire braced aircraft. Other Army aviators continued the flights for three months until the post office took over operations.
A book about the first airmail, published by Lippincott & Co., titled "Tracks Across the Sky", by Page Shamburger, tells the story of this historic flight. Several Early Birds are mentioned in this book.
H. Paul Culver died June 24, 1964, aged 71, at Woods Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of pneumonia.
Survivors include his wife, Edith Dodd Culver, and two sons, Paul D. Culver, in Sherwood, Calif. and John D., in Kansas City, Mo., a daughter Mrs. Raymond Cragin in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., a sister Mrs. J. W. Prentice in Ashland, Wis., and a brother, Thomas B. Culver in Minneapolis,
December, 1964, Number 71
A book published by Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico titled "TALESPINS, A Story of Early Aviation Days", by his wife Edith Dodd Culver, is a first-hand account of early aviation days including the beginning of air mail service in the United States.
Talespins includes stories about other air pioneers, their training and their exploits. Included in these authentic accounts are the stories of the women who were aviation enthusiasts and, in some cases, pilots themselves. Mrs. Culver points out that these women played a vital part in our early aviation history.
"Culver's late husband, Paul, one of the country's earliest pilots, was a member of the team that carried the first bags of air mail. Here his wife recalls those days when to be a pilot was to court death and when marriage to a pilot presumed early widowhood."
Our copy is autographed:
With much love
Edith Dodd Culver
CITY OF FLIGHT:
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
by James J. Horgan
The Patrice Press.
A Story of Early Aviation Days
by Edith Dodd Culver
by Edith Dodd Culver
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper