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Commitment A lesson from Charles A. Lindbergh

Lindbergh on Commitment

Charles A. Lindbergh instantly became world famous after his solo flight over the Atlantic.  However, the following story from the years before his trans-Atlantic journey reveal much about the character and commitment of this young man.

This passage from Wikipedia details Lindbergh’s career as an air mail pilot

Two days before he opened service on the route on April 15, 1926, with its first early morning southbound flight from Chicago to St. Louis, Lindbergh officially became authorized to be entrusted with the “care, custody, and conveyance” of U.S. Mails by formally subscribing and swearing to the Post Office Department’s 1874 Oath of Mail Messengers.It would not take long for him to be presented with the circumstances to prove how seriously he took this obligation.

Twice during the 10 months that he flew CAM-2, Lindbergh involuntarily lost custody and control of the mail when he was forced to bail out of his mail plane owing to bad weather, equipment problems, and/or fuel exhaustion. Both incidents came while he was approaching Chicago at night: first near Ottawa, Illinois, on September 16, 1926 and then near Covell, Illinois, on November 3, 1926. After landing in rural farm fields by parachute, his first concern on both occasions was to immediately locate the wreckage of his crashed mail planes, make sure that the bags of mail were promptly secured and salvaged, and then to see that they were entrained or trucked on to Chicago with as little further delay as possible.

Lindbergh continued on as chief pilot of CAM-2 until mid-February 1927, when he left for San Diego, California, to oversee the design and construction of the Spirit of St. Louis.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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