Background: During WW-I, the world saw the audacious courage of men willing to fly and do battle in their "flying coffins." As the war was coming to an end, the menacing battlefields of the sky would evolve into the peaceful highways of commerce. Otto Praeger, in charge of aerial mail with the US Post Office saw the initial needs of commerce to speed-up the transmission of mail carrying it by air. On May 15, 1918 the US Post Office Department using US Army pilots and aircraft commenced a series of air mail routes as an experiment to prove the possibility of establishing regular air mail routes over which mail would be transported by air.
GOVERNMENT Air Mail: Those special flights conducted under US federal authority by the Signal Corps of the US Army, the auspices or approval of the US Post Office Department and other US federal bureaus would come to be known as Government flights. These GOVERNMENT first flights flown between origin and destination were documented by cancellations and special markings. Below is an index of GOVERNMENT first flights comprehensively compiled by the American Air Mail Society in their catalogues.