Leon D. Cuddeback Photo

Leon D. Cuddeback

Born: May 16, 1898

Death: Jul 6, 1984

Nationality: United States

Leon D. Cuddeback

Date of Birth : May 16, 1898
Date of Death : Jul 6, 1984

Leon Dewey "Lee" Cuddeback flew the first scheduled, civilian Air Mail flight in the United States on April 6, 1926. He did so as chief pilot of Varney Air Lines. His route began in Pasco, Washington, had a stop in Boise, Idaho, and terminated in Elko, Nevada. Because the start of the contract air mail system is considered the beginning of airline service, Cuddeback's flight is cited as the first U.S. airline flight, and is also celebrated as the "birthday" of United Airlines. Leon Cuddeback was the son of Moses Clinton Cuddeback and his third wife Cloa Kent-Irons. According to a history of the Directorate of Air Transport, Allied Air Force, South West Pacific Area and the 322nd Troop Carrier Wing: [Leon]l Cuddeback is one of the true pioneers of civil aviation in the United States. He first learned to fly in 1921 at the Varney School of Flying, San Mateo, California. He worked as a mechanic and watchman for his training, and on becoming a pilot, flew for the school and became an instructor pilot. Finally he was chief pilot, supervising all flying instruction.

Also known as

  • Leon Cuddeback
Source: Freebase, CC-YY
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