Shows several aviation "firsts" accomplished by U.S. Army Air Service aviators in the period from 1918 through 1924. A close formation of biplanes in flight. President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson chat with Major Fleet, Officer in charge, on the occasion of the first air mail flight, inaugurated on May 15,1918 between Washington DC and New York.The mail is loaded into the Curtis JN-4 aircraft. Pilot in the cockpit. The aircraft takes off and in flight. Air Service. Mention of aviators helping spot forest fires. Smoke rising from forest fires and mountain ranges. In 1920, U.S. Army Captain St. Clair Streett is seen with some of his Squadron who flew four De Havilland DH-4 aircraft 9,000 miles, from New York City to Nome, Alaska. Two of the men play with pet dogs. Their itinerary is painted on the side of one of the aircraft, along with the names of pilot and mechanic (C.E. Crumline and J.E. Long). In 1923 the first non stop coast-to-coast flight was made in the Fokker T-2 aircraft. . A sign on the aircraft reads 'Army Air Service non stop coast to coast'.First Lieutenants Oakley O.Kelly and John A. Macready board the aircraft, at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, on May 2, 1923. Their Fokker T-2 in flight. Their arrival at Rockwell Field, on Coronado Island (San Diego) California. In 1924, Lt. Russell Maughan is seen boarding his P-1 Hawk airplane at Mitchel Field, on Long Island, New York, and taking off , bound for Crissy Field at the Presidio, San Francisco, California. His goal is the first dawn-to-dusk, coast-to-coast flight. Views of his P-1 Hawk airplane flying over Manhattan, New York City.
On May 2, 1923, scenes of the first successful non stop flight across USA. Men open accordian doors to large hangar, revealing a specially modified Fokker T-2 airplane. Lieutenant Kelly and Lieutenant Macready, on the field, pose with Orville Wright. United States Army Air Service Fokker T-2 plane is pushed out of hangar by men. Painted on side of the plane is: 'Army Air Service Non Stop Coast to Coast'. Pilot gets ready as the airplane is fueled. Pilots and other Army officers on airfield. Animated map of the United States map illustrates course the flyers will take. Plane taxis on airfield. The Plane in flight and over Rockwell field, San Diego, California, and making a landing. Spectators on field greet the pilots as they climb down from the airplane.
Promotional documentary titled 'By The Way of Panama - California The Golden'. Describes views of California to be seen on a cruise from New York, via Panama. The sea shores of California with rocks and sand. A passenger ship sailing in the harbor of San Diego. Views of the San Diego Harbor. The ship, called the "Pennsylvania" reaches harbor of Los Angeles. The buildings and streets of the city of Los Angeles. A Hollywood film studio with shooting underway. Luxury homes of LA. The ship moves on to San Francisco. The harbor of San Francisco including Alcatraz Island in background. Views of the surroundings from a high ridge in San Francisco.
The first mid-air refueling at Rockwell Field in San Diego, California. 1st Lieutenant Virgil Hine and 1st Lt. Frank W. Seifert pose next to the cockpit of a modified United States Army Air Service Airco DH-4B. Workmen repair a hose under the fuselage of the modified DH-4B tanker aircraft. A workman pulls the hose out from under the aircraft. A second DH-4B aircraft in the background. The modified DH-4B transfers fuel to another modified DH-4B via a hose between the aircraft. Wings of DH-4B camera airplane. The modified DH-4B tanker with the fueling hose trailing behind it. Two modified DH-4Bs. The tanker aircraft with the hose trailing below it moves away from the fueled airplane and flies away.
Testing of American seaplane fighter aircraft F2Y Sea Dart in San Diego Bay in San Diego, California. The F2Y Sea Dart taxis in San Diego Bay during a test flight. Buildings on the shore in the background. Several vessels sailing on the bay waters. The F2Y Sea Dart takes off from the bay.
Testing of American seaplane fighter aircraft F2Y Sea Dart in San Diego Bay in San Diego, California. The F2Y Sea Dart takes off from San Diego Bay during a test flight. View of the seaplane in flight. Aerial view of buildings. The seaplane lands and taxis on the bay waters.