Air Mail Introduced in North Carolina

A letter celebrating National Air Mail Week in 1938. Image from the N.C. Museum of HistoryOn May 1, 1928, North Carolina’s first air mail delivery arrived at the small airport in Greensboro known as Lindley Field.

Pitcairn Aviation was given a contract to fly an air mail delivery route between New York and New Orleans, and Greensboro was one of five stops along the route. Pilot Sid Malloy landed at 8:15 p.m. with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail with him when he left for his next stop in Atlanta.

Lindley Field had only been open for a year at that time. National hero Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis drew large crowds to the field’s opening ceremony in 1927. He visited Lindley Field as part of a three-month tour promoting air flight that took him to 48 states and 82 cities. As a result of his visit, interest in the use of air mail intensified.

Lindley Field was closed during the Depression because of a decline in service and sub-standard facilities. It was a project of the Works Progress Administration during the late 1930s and was re-opened in 1937. The facility, now known as Piedmont-Triad International Airport, has grown into a major hub for both transportation and commercial shipping.

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