Airmail pilot Robert Shank after crash

Description: Robert Shank was hired in 1918, the first year of airmail service, as a Post Office Department airmail pilot. He was assigned to the Belmont Park, New York, airfield. He was one the first four pilots hired to fly the mail that year. As good as these pilots were, crashes were sometimes unavoidable. Shrank survived this crash of his Standard JR-1B aircraft, which landed nose down into a woody area. Shank is pictured standing on the airplane, peering into the cockpit.


Creator/Photographer: Unidentified photographer


Medium: Black and white photographic print


Culture: American


Geography: USA


Date: 1918-12-31


Repository: National Postal Museum


Collection: Benjamin Lipsner Collection


Gift line: Gift of Benjamin Lipsner


Accession number: A.2008-8


Persistent URL:


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  • Kees Kort 6y

    The machine on the picture is not correctly identified. The crashed machine is a Standard JR-1B which can be easily identified by a different form of rudder, different wings and a headrest for the pilot. Standard made the machine in small numbers as a special single seat post plane, where the mail was carried in the department of the fuselage in front of the pilot.


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